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This is the quote from the email I receive after New Year.

"I would like to wish you a good 2020. I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year’s eve."

What is the best and formal way to reply to this? I have difficulties replying without sounding that I copy-paste from the original messages.

This is my not-so-good-plan:

"Thank you, I also wish you a good 2020. I hope you had a good Christmas and holidays as well."

EDIT: This is an email from someone whose position is above me. In the same email, there is other information as well that I need to reply.

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    > Thank you for the well-wishes, I spent a lovely Christmas and New Year with family and friends. I hope yours went just as smoothly <. (This is just one variation, there are many ways of replying–it's just a question of opinion and style, which makes this question, regrettably, off-topic – Mari-Lou A Jan 10 at 17:35
  • @Mari-LouA, should I post it in english.stackexchange.com instead? – Codelearner777 Jan 10 at 17:45
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    This seems a perfectly good ELL question to me. But it would also be well suited to workplace.stackexchange.com – jonathanjo Jan 10 at 17:52
  • Posting this on EL&U would be off-topic there as well. It's not about the English language, it's not about grammar or punctuation. You're asking "what" to write. It depends. How well do you know this person? How important are the office politics? Whether the email was merely a formality or a genuine interest and greeting. You could just reply to the information requested in the email and finish off with saying. "Lest I forget, happy 2020 to you and to all your loved ones". – Mari-Lou A Jan 10 at 18:57
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This isn't so much a question of English language, but of etiquette. As a native English speaker I find responding to these emails just as awkward, as they sort of put you into a corner, where, as you said, you want to be polite and kind, but don't want to sound unoriginal (which we may fear will be perceived as uncaring).

There are a few options I can think of:

  1. Use what you have already written - there's really nothing wrong with the copy and paste vibe; we're all aware that we're basically saying the same things to each other every year.

  2. Engage them in conversation: "Thanks, I had a great Christmas and New Year! How was yours?"

  3. Go for a slimmed down response: "Thanks, and all the best to you too! :)"

  4. Don't respond. This may or may not be appropriate depending on the context. You're not really under any obligation to respond, and it is sort of understood that some people are into sending greetings like this, and others (perhaps those who are more introverted), not so much.

Option 3 is probably a nice middle-ground option, and perhaps the one I'd be most likely to go for.

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  • This is an email from someone whose position is above me. In the same email, there is other information as well that I need to reply. – Codelearner777 Jan 10 at 17:27
  • Yeah, this is quite common, higher-ups will likely feel some pressure to do this to keep up morale, etc. I’d go for a quick option 3 response, maybe even something as simple as, “Hi [Name] - Happy New Year!” Part of my thinking is that they are above me, and so there’s no need, or it could even be a bad thing, for me to match or even outdo them. – Chris Mack Jan 10 at 17:52

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