When should we stop saying ‘Happy New Year’?

Almost two weeks after the fireworks, people are still saying ‘Happy New Year’.

Sooooooo, it’s January 13, and most of us are conflicted about this ‘Happy New Year!’ thing. At what point do we stop sending new year wishes to loved ones and strangers?

A simple look at practices associated with other holidays can help us. For instance, do we say Merry Christmas to people on December 30? Do we send mushy Valentine’s Day wishes on February 20? Do we wish Jamaica Happy Independence Day on August 10? Are you getting where I’m going with this?

The script

Reciting new year greetings to people weeks into January comes off as just that – a recital. Customer service representatives already have a bad rep for sounding robotic and adding ‘Happy New Year’ to their script weeks after the enrapturing fireworks on New Year’s Day makes for an awkward experience. Add that to other strangers and co-workers who want to ask how the new year is “treating you” a mere five days in. Guys, we get it, it’s a new year, but it doesn’t mean we ought to leave sincerity in 2019.

Don’t take my word for it. Etiquette experts Lisa Forde and Crystal Seamon-Primas declare that giving new year wishes after the first week of January can be perceived as ingenuine. Everybody is saying it, so let me just say it too, you know, that robotic vibe I described earlier.

Things might get a bit awkward when you wish someone ‘Happy New Year’ weeks into 2020.

Embracing new chapter

Breaking it down to Metro UK, Forde said later wishes can even have psychological effects on a receiver who has not come to grips with Christmas being over and is reluctant to embrace a chapter.

She added that saying it early can encourage early planning for the year, instead of waiting until later which can cause the recipient to feel rushed or left behind.

“There’s a reason people who plan wisely for the new year are more prosperous and successful, and usually these are the individuals who stop New Year’s greetings a couple of days into January, once they have wished it to their nearest and dearest,” she said.

Despite these reasons, I’m pretty sure there will be someone who tells you ‘Happy New Year’ today or this week. I suppose they are the same people who leave their Christmas decorations up until March. Who knows…