2020 is drawing to a close at last. It was a year that made huge demands on all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world and stopped it in its tracks. Christmas is coming, and this year everything will be different – that much is certain. Atmospheric Christmas markets in the run-up to Christmas, merry Christmas parties with friends and colleagues, long-awaited family get-togethers, heading into the mountains for a skiing holiday – all these things will be very restricted this year… if they happen at all.
2020 Christmas greetings
That is why Christmas greetings in the form of written messages are all the more important this year. Never before have there been more reasons to revive the wonderful Christmas tradition of heartfelt written words. A personal greeting that shows the recipient that you’re thinking of them, a little message of encouragement for business partners who have suffered under the lockdown measures, a careful inquiry, a reminder that you are there, a friendly sign of solidarity. And more than ever, it is personal words of greeting that matter. Not mass emails with dancing reindeer and sparkling stars – that wouldn’t be the right tone when addressing, for example, a business partner who has had to put staff on short-time working. The same goes for meaningless GIFs that cheerily wish continued success, or banal Happy Christmas platitudes for people who have been dealt a heavy blow of fate in this difficult year.
Mindful and careful – the choice of words is important
What should I write? When writing your Christmas cards always ask yourself:
Would I be pleased to receive a card like this?
Some recipients might smile when they receive uplifting greetings such as “‘Better times will follow the crisis”, “Socially distanced Christmas wishes” or “Yours optimistically, stay safe”, but others might be irritated or even react negatively to such lines. As in our translation work, the target group is a decisive factor: Who are we addressing? What is their current situation? What nuances and subtleties do I need to consider? This year standard ‘it’s the time of year’ phrases are less appropriate than ever. This Christmas is not a time for platitudes.
Are you sending Christmas messages abroad?
If the recipient of your planned Christmas greetings is in another country, the situation calls for even greater sensitivity. Despite the figures we are constantly bombarded with from other parts of the world via the media and social networks, we do not necessarily know what these difficult times mean for individual business partners, colleagues or employees, what they are experiencing and what their day-to-day lives are like, the extent to which they have been directly affected by personal losses or business problems and what the mood is really like among the general population – this can also vary greatly from one sector to another.
To assess this accurately you need the support of an experienced translation agency with knowledgeable translators all over the world who have a realistic, up-to-date picture of the local situation and who also know how to communicate your message in an appropriate and sensitive way in the country concerned in view of the unprecedented situation. For example, in countries where “family” is a much broader concept than in German-speaking countries and naturally includes distant relatives, a different emotional response is evoked and wording must be adapted accordingly. Professional and knowledgeable native speakers are needed to ensure that relationships are cultivated properly – on both a professional and a private level.
Christmas mailings can be an important part of your corporate communication. Quite often, a few well-chosen words are enough to create a unique Christmas message and make the recipient feel appreciated. For example, you might want to let your business partners know how you fared in this difficult year. Show interest by saying that you are looking forward to seeing them again, or remind them how important solidarity and humanity are by mentioning that you’ve chosen to support a charity. There are lots of possibilities – and you should also consider the many special traditions of Christmas and the holiday season in different countries and cultures in your international communications.
We will be pleased to help you to formulate your 2020 Christmas greetings and we will send you our suggestions for a text that is sure to be well received with respect to both content and tone.