When someone wish you good things like "Happy holidays and blah blah" Is a correct and polite way to answer a flat:

"Thank you, likewise"

Or It should be better to respond:

"Thank you, I wish you the same"

A teacher taught me the "likewise" one, but really I never have heard it in real greetings. Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    I don't know if I've ever heard anyone say "Likewise" in that exact context, but it certainly makes sense. "I wish you the same" sounds a little stilted, but I think in a situation like this, the emotion is more important than the exact words. If you want something informal, I think "Thanks! And to you too!" is fine. – stangdon Dec 21 '16 at 22:59
  • Is there some reason you don't want to say "Happy Holidays to you too!" back to them? – Andrew Dec 21 '16 at 23:14

It comes down to personal preference, but it's quite common to echo the sentiment back to the person. For example.

A: Happy Holidays!

B: Thank you. Happy Holidays to you too!

It's also quite common to hear more informal responses, such as:

  • "And (also) to you!"
  • You too!
  • Thanks, same to you!
  • Happy New Year to you and yours (when you want to extend the wishes to the other person's family)

"Many happy returns" (although primarily used nowadays to mark a birthday), as also an acceptable response to "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year". The sentiment itself is issued the hope that a happy day being marked would recur many more times.

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  • 1
    I think "many happy returns" may be regional. I'm certainly aware of it but not as something I ever hear anyone say in the modern era... for some reason I associate it more with British English. – Catija Dec 22 '16 at 0:45
  • 1
    @Catija: I wouldn't say that it's regional, but I'd certainly associate it with British English. And it's still in common usage, where I am from at least. – mike Dec 22 '16 at 1:40

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