For many of us, Christmas is one of the few times in the year when we pick up a pen and remember that handwriting exists. This is great and no doubt good for us but, after a year in the company of spellcheckers and predictive text, it can be hard work grappling with Christmas wordage. We have a few Christmas spelling and grammar tips for you so that your stables remain steady, your mangers don’t go mangey and your holly and ivy behave.
Christmas – always requires a capital letter, as do Christmas Eve and Boxing Day
New Year’s Day – capital letters and yes it does require an apostrophe because this is the day of the new year
New Year’s Eve – you guessed it… capital letters and an apostrophe here too
Bethlehem – fairly phonetic but it is a place so needs a capital letter
Herod – we don’t like him but he was a man, so he also has a capital
Mary and Joseph – capital letters and not just because they travelled so far with a donkey
The innkeeper – his name was probably Matthew but he doesn’t need a capital letter for his occupation
Christmas turkey – Turkey the country requires a capital letter but turkey the unfortunate dinner centre-piece doesn’t
Rudolph – this is a tricky one because you have to decide between ‘The Red Nosed Reindeer’ being his name or his occupation. I would refer this one to the National Union of Reindeer (almost all capitals)
No capitals for sleigh bells but be careful because ‘sleigh’ is a homophone and we don’t want any seasonal ‘slaying’
No I can’t see the poinsettia of these strange plants either but they might crop up in your Christmas thank you letters and, although tricky to spell, do not require a capital letter
No capitals for gingerbread unless you are referring the the cheeky, buttoned one who should be addressed as ‘The Gingerbread Man’ because that is his name… or is being ginger an occupation?
And finally, but perhaps most importantly, mistletoe; nothing to do with toes, this one is strictly for kissing but don’t be tempted to ‘missile-tow’ instead… this will bring about an entirely different type of explosion!