The phrase “Merry Christmas” was first used commercially in the first Christmas Card. This is believed to be because "happy" took on a higher class connotation than "merry," which was associated with the rowdiness of the lower classes. Most people know “merry” means roughly the same thing as “happy.” Even so, “merry” is much less common. Likewise if you wished someone a “Happy Christmas” (unless you live in England, where many people do say “Happy Christmas”). Why do we say MERRY Christmas instead of another word like "happy"? But if you wished someone a “Merry Birthday,” or a “Merry Halloween,” you’d probably get some weird looks! Today, we use ” merry” for Christmas the way we use “happy” for any other holiday, but the words themselves technically don’t have the exact same meaning. That’s why you’ll still hear it today in the U.K. 8 Answers. So the word Merry shifted from a verb to an adjective which over time allowed it to be used in the phrase “Merry Christmas”. Why Do We Say Merry Christmas? It's Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy St. Paddy's Day, Happy Easter, etc. Katy Birchall takes a look at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge, and picks out, A genuine Henley-on-Thames landmark comes up for sale at £6.25 million, Barnes: The London village encircled by the Thames that’s left an indelible mark on the nation, A family home for sale in West Sussex that’s full of Gothic flourishes, Country Life's Top 100 architects, builders, designers and gardeners, Six audiobooks for Christmas, from Dickens to the latest Booker Prize winner, The Richmond landmark overlooking Britain’s only listed view to open its doors, The best places in Britain to go and hear Christmas choir services over the festive period. Why Do We Say Merry Christmas? I have been places where people actually use the phrase Happy Christmas instead because of this connection. i.e. because we say merry christmas and happy new year. the_wife. And after it, you’re almost certain to hear the word “Christmas.” (Or the words “little Christmas,” in the event of a certain holiday standard.) The first written record of someone using “Merry Christmas” comes from a 1534 letter from a bishop to royal minister Thomas Cromwell. And this is the most likely reason it would just sound…odd to use the word for any other holiday. There's nothing at all wrong with Merry Christmas. Our hope and joy are found in our Merciful Saviour. History of the phrase "Merry," derived from the Old English myrige, originally meant merely "pleasant" rather than joyous or jolly (as in the phrase "merry month of May"). Personally, 'Merry' reminds me of booze or Robin Hood. The "Merry Christmas vs. But as soon as Thanksgiving passes, you’re bound to start hearing and seeing it everywhere—on billboards, on decorations, in songs, and, of course, straight from the mouths of well-wishers. 1. But then, in the 18th century, “merry” started to tip the scales, largely thanks to one man: Charles Dickens. The debate between the 2 phrases goes back several decades. Eleanor Doughty reports on The Star and Garter. Probably not, but now we've pointed it out the reason will bug you until you've read the answer. Author: wfmynews2.com It is the religious connection with the birth of Christ. December 22, 2014 Relevance. The "Merry Christmas vs. Not in … If someone responds, “Happy Holidays,” ask if the person celebrates Christmas? Think of it this way: “Happy Holidays” includes Christmas as one of those holidays, and “Merry Christmas” leaves out everything other than Christmas. Why is it Merry Christmas and not Happy Christmas? RD.COM Holidays & Observances Christmas. Six months after the book’s publication, the Factories Act decreed that children between the ages of nine and 13 could work only nine hours a day, six days a week maximum, which was considered humane. Universal History Archive\UIG/Shutterstock, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), exactly why we celebrate Christmas on December 25, why Brits and Americans spell so many words differently, 24 more trivia facts you never knew about Christmas, The Subtle Difference You Didn’t Notice Between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton’s Photos, 20 Wacky Ways to Decorate Your Christmas Tree, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. By the same token, ‘Bah! Tweet. Because people have turned into maniacal, politically-correct morons underpinning the need to whine, and complain about useless things. From what I read I'm really glad some people, like myself, discovered that we are not alone and that this is a common feeling for many, I really enjoyed reading certain comments, and I'm happy for all the people who got better at it and now can do what they love without having this feeling on their shoulders. While “happy” suggests a more general emotional state of joy, “merry” can imply that there’s a bit of raucous revelry afoot. 1 decade ago. However, it is more complex than that. Those associations are being explored at the moment in a new exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum, London WC1, ‘Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens’, which also looks at food with respect to how it represented the author’s sense of social justice,. Pin. The precise origin of merry Christmas is unclear. One reason may be the alternative meaning, still current there, of "merry" as "tipsy" or "drunk". How do they say merry christmas in ireland? While “happy” suggests a … However, almost everybody writes "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". We tend to think of Dickens as balding, bearded and avuncular, but when he wrote A Christmas Carol he was young, energetic and crusading – shown by a recently-unearthed portrait of the writer that was painted in 1843. It had not been seen for 174 years. Sure it potentially could be subjective because what if you have a Jewish person walk into your store, and you say the wrong holiday. Although it was in use from the 16th century, it was Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol –published exactly 175 years ago – that really popularised it. sort like you were stuttering Merry Christmas! When we wish people a “Merry Christmas,” let us remember that our hope and joy are not found in having a happy day or a Merry Christmas. If that is true Christians are being persecuted every time they cannot force their religious beliefs on others and the minority should all apologize. The word “merry” isn’t one we use very often during the months of January through November. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. If you know someone is a Christian who is celebrating Christmas you should say to them 'Merry Christmas.' Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Christmas’ appears to go back a few hundred a long time. Why do people get offended when you say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays? The reason that Non-Christians get offended is because Christians try to say that everyone should say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays or they are being persecuted. Most people specially non-British or English use the word Merry instead of Happy. Queen Elizabeth II is said to prefer "Happy Christmas" for this reason. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. The lost portrait of Dickens, painted by Margaret Gillies during the very same weeks in which he wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843. While the list can go on and on about why we should say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays", here are five reasons why we should. 7 4990 0 . Blithely do we use this phrase as greeting, farewell or exclamation of joy with little thought to the book that made it famous. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became an argument of political malice. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. By the same token, ‘Bah! Out of courtesy towards all other beliefs, we just say Happy Holidays instead. Likewise, say 'Happy Hanukkah' to a … would not sound right to say happy christmas and happy new year. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap. In the 18th and 19thcentury when Christmas began to be more accepted in popular culture. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. Have you ever stopped to wonder why we say 'Merry Christmas' when for every other occasion we use the word 'happy' instead'? “Merry Christmas” was the phrase of choice in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a work that would have a major influence on the modern English-speaking world’s perception of Christmas. We say both "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Christmas"; they are interchangeable. Now, of course, because of the popularity of “Merry Christmas”—and how little we say “merry” in other situations—”merry” now calls to mind a celebration that’s cozy, festive, and filled with gift-giving rather than one that’s overly revelrous and rowdy. It was gaining popularity in carols as well. Even so, since 1943, it has never been out of print, it’s the most adapted of all Dickens’s works and still embodies the spirit of Christmas goodwill for many. However, the resilience of the U.K. with this term actually has to do with some of the British upper class. 17 Shares. Today, we use ” merry” for Christmas the way we use “happy” for any other holiday, but the words themselves technically don’t have the exact same meaning. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. by Day Translations - December 24, 2017. Humbug!’ entered popular usage, and everyone knows what it means to be called a Scrooge (even if they’ve never read the book) – a miserly grouch who believes that ‘Every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas” on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart’. My family's all from Belgium & folks we know through business as well as pleasure all use the term 'Happy' when speaking of Christmas. We recommend our users to update the browser. It’s, to begin with, recorded in 1534 when (an English Catholic Religious Bishop in the 1500s) composed it in a Christmas letter to Thomas Cromwell: “And this our Lord God send you a merry Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire.” Why? It stuck around in common phrases like "the more, the merrier," as well as in things like Christmas carols and stories, largely due to the influence of Charles Dickens. Merry Christmas! This is why Brits and Americans spell so many words differently. Although it was in use from the 16th century, it was Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol –published exactly 175 years ago – that really popularised it. During the first Christmas radio address, King George V used the word happy instead of merry (you can actually listen to the original recording here, which is pretty cool). Any other holiday `` drunk '' farewell or exclamation of joy with little thought to the book made. 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