Merriest Christmases or Christmas’s?

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I received this question recently on our Facebook page:

Merriest of Christmases? Or, Merriest of Christmas’s? I’m thinking Christmases…

Here’s my answer:

The rule is simple: never use apostrophe-s to create a plural (Okay, the exception is with letters and abbreviations that would be confusing without one: p’s and q’s, ABC’s). Apostrophes are for contractions (e.g., isn’t, we’re, don’t) and possessive nouns (e.g., Bob’s cousin, our nation’s flag, Santa’s list).

Since Christmases is simply plural here, and not possessive, just add -es: Christmases.

And may all your Christmases be white!

*****

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About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. kdja
    kdja02-10-2016

    thanks i needed this for an essay in school

  2. Debbi
    Debbi12-10-2015

    Thanks for the answer. I hate spelling, of course I was never good at it, so the spell check is a life saver along with nice folks that answer such simple of necessary questions like this one! I wish you the very Merriest of Christmases!

  3. Janice Feaster
    Janice Feaster12-30-2013

    I notice this error with apostrophes on stones in family yards: the Feaster’s instead of the Feasters.

  4. Sophia
    Sophia12-18-2013

    This is related, I suppose, in a way:

    During the Christmas season, I try to count how many Christmas cards we get that DON’T refer to the family in the possessive instead of the plural. Every year, we get so many cards from the Smith’s and the Robinson’s and the Kazanowski’s… it’s become a sort of joke in our family!

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko12-18-2013

      Good point. It’s a very common misuse of the apostrophe.

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