AP Stylebook: Rules For The Holiday Season

As we enter the holiday season, I thought it would be a great time to brush up on holiday style – AP style, that is. Below are terms that stood out to me as ones I would be likely to slip up on when writing. For instance, it’s general knowledge that seasons are not capitalized, but “winter” does not officially begin until Dec. 21 and therefore should not be used to describe dates before this.  It’s also a common AP style rule to only spell out numbers 1-10, but when writing about the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the numeral should always be spelled out.
  • Kriss Kringle: Not Kris. Derived from the German word, Christkindl, or baby Jesus.
  • yule: Old English name for Christmas season; yuletide is also lowercase.
  • Christmastime – One word.
  • Xmas – Don’t use this abbreviation for Christmas.
  • “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – Spell the numeral in the Christmas carol.
  • Black Friday – Capitalize both words and don’t use quotes.
  • Cyber Monday – Same as above. And just in case there’s any confusion about this day, it’s the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • gift card – Two words, not one.
  • autumn, fall, winter, etc. – Seasons are not capitalized. And winter does not officially begin until Dec. 21.
  • Pilgrims – Capitalized. 
  • turkey day – Not capitalized.
  • Don’t capitalize happy in “happy Thanksgiving” or “happy holidays.”
Are there any other AP style rules for the holidays that you’d like to share? Let us know!
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kyra Mazurek. 

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