Not an Official Entry, Just an Etiquette Question

I have a quick etiquette question for all my readers, because I know you’re all well-versed about how to act in civilized society.

Here it is: How long do we have to keep up the “happy new year” thing?new-year-image[1]

Is there a statute of limitation so that you can stop after, say, two weeks?  Perhaps you have to keep going until the next holiday, when you can replace “Happy New Year” with “Merry Martin Luther King Jr. Day?”

Or is there a rule, like, you have to say it the first time you see each person in the new year? And, if so, how do you keep track of whom you’ve seen?

We can’t possibly have to keep it up for as long as some people leave up their Christmas decorations. I mean, you’ll see tree lights twinkling as late as February. Our old neighbors finally decided the wreath on their front door was a permanent decor choice.

Also, is it enough to just say “Happy New Year,” or do you have to interrogate the person about the quality of their holiday?

“Happy new year! Did you have a good holiday?”

“Well, a sidewalk Santa hit me on the elbow with his damn bell, and my presents kinda sucked as you can see from the sweater I’m wearing, and my parents came over and all my dad could talk about was the friggin’ fiscal cliff, but other than that it was okay. How was yours?”

Now I can’t even remember why I was talking to this person in the first place!

Another thing: Is the protocol different for e-mail than in-person greetings? Because, I have to tell you, adding “Happy New Year” to all my e-mails is just killing my productivity!

I’d seriously like to know what you think. Leave a comment!

See you soon…oh, and happy new year!

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3 Responses to Not an Official Entry, Just an Etiquette Question

  1. Peter says:

    We’re about there, unless you haven’t seen them since you know, the world ended, in which case, 3rd week of Jan is the limit…

  2. Lisa says:

    The time to wish folks happy new year has expired. You are only allowed to do it for one week, and actually the first four days of the new year are the optimum times for the greeting. After that no one remembers that it is a new year.

  3. davidd says:

    I suspect it’s appropriate to continue offering Happy New Year greetings until February 10th, after which you may continue with Happy Chinese New Year (Kung Hee Fat Choy). ;-p

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