There's nothing at all wrong with Merry Christmas. Favourite answer. because we say merry christmas and happy new year. Why Do We Say Merry Christmas? I think we just grow up saying whatever we're used to. It was gaining popularity in carols as well. If you live in an area with mostly Christians, or if you know someone has a Menorah and not a Christmas tree, you can generally feel safe with a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah.” 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. Likewise, say 'Happy Hanukkah' to a … You may hear the phrase “Merry Christmas” around the world, including in England. December 22, 2014 We've picked out five. And before the 18th century, you could hear both “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Christmas.” The most likely reason for this is the fact that, well, “merry” was just a far more popular word back then than it is today. At the time, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning remarked that, in it, the author had ‘the dust and mud of humanity about him, notwithstanding those eagle eyes’. As Christians, wishing others “Merry Christmas” can open the door to a spiritual conversation. Most people know “merry” means roughly the same thing as “happy.” Even so, “merry” is much less common. The first Christmas card on record was sent in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole and used the phrase “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” We recommend our users to update the browser. Personally, I have never used and I will never use “Xmas.” At the time, Dickens was gravely concerned with the growing masses of poor, hungry and uneducated, particularly children. But if you wished someone a “Merry Birthday,” or a “Merry Halloween,” you’d probably get some weird looks! Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. Out of courtesy towards all other beliefs, we just say Happy Holidays instead. However, the resilience of the U.K. with this term actually has to do with some of the British upper class. Upon entering the house, visitors are invited to experience the exhibition as either a servant or a guest – see www.dickensmuseum.com for more details. Author: wfmynews2.com Most people specially non-British or English use the word Merry instead of Happy. By the same token, ‘Bah! would not sound right to say happy christmas and happy new year. The alternative "Happy Christmas" gained wide usage in the late 19th century, and is still common in the United Kingdom and Ireland. (Furthermore, some do not like to say, “Merry Christmas,” so they say, “Happy Holidays,” not realizing that “holiday” is from the Old English word for “holy day.” If they do not like spiritual connotations, they had better not say “Happy Holidays” either!) If that is true Christians are being persecuted every time they cannot force their religious beliefs on others and the minority should all apologize. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference … Our hope and joy are found in our Merciful Saviour. “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. 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. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. Why is it Merry Christmas and not Happy Christmas? RD.COM Holidays & Observances Christmas. However, it is more complex than that. Why do people get offended when you say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays? 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. 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.” Eleanor Doughty reports on The Star and Garter. Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Christmas’ appears to go back a few hundred a long time. Many peopl… In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. 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. The debate between the 2 phrases goes back several decades. by Day Translations - December 24, 2017. Blithely do we use this phrase as greeting, farewell or exclamation of joy with little thought to the book that made it famous. The word “merry” isn’t one we use very often during the months of January through November. Think of it this way: “Happy Holidays” includes Christmas as one of those holidays, and “Merry Christmas” leaves out everything other than Christmas. While “happy” suggests a … In the 18th and 19thcentury when Christmas began to be more accepted in popular culture. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. Why Do We Say Merry Christmas? 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. This is why Brits and Americans spell so many words differently. 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.) Not in … Though Christmas has been celebrated since the 4th century AD, the … 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). 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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’. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became an argument of political malice. It had not been seen for 174 years. Merry was also the word of choice for Dickens and in carols, so much so that the pull of merry grew stronger and it even changed the last line of “The Night Before Christmas”, which originally was “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.” Because this Victorian era Christmas traditions defined the way we celebrate Christmas, even today, we use ‘merry’ instead of ‘happy Christmas’. In the Irish language it is said as Nollaig Shona Duit. Most people think this is the biggest way to differentiate between “merry” and “happy” is simply that. Plus, find out exactly why we celebrate Christmas on December 25. However, almost everybody writes "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". 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. Merry Christmas! One of Richmond's most recognisable landmarks has been converted into plush apartments. The "Merry Christmas vs. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. I have been places where people actually use the phrase Happy Christmas instead because of this connection. Tweet. Given Dickens’s charitable leanings, the book was bizarrely extravagant in its first edition (which he funded himself), in ‘brown-salmon fine-ribbed cloth, blocked in blind and gold on front; in gold on the spine… all edges gilt’, costing 5s. Next, find out 24 more trivia facts you never knew about Christmas. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. Published on December 19, 1843, with the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve, the didactic novella’s legacy further extends to an almost immediate rise in charitable giving, recorded in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1844: for years afterwards, Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway, sent gifts to London’s crippled children signed ‘With Tiny Tim’s Love’. For book lovers who never get the time to read, audiobooks can make a great present. Have you ever stopped to wonder why we say 'Merry Christmas' when for every other occasion we use the word 'happy' instead'? Why is Christmas the only holiday we hope will be “merry”? 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"). 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. 17 Shares. Pin. The lost portrait of Dickens, painted by Margaret Gillies during the very same weeks in which he wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843. Likewise if you wished someone a “Happy Christmas” (unless you live in England, where many people do say “Happy Christmas”). While both words have evolved and changed meaning over time (yes—people did once say "Happy Christmas"), people stopped using "merry" as its own individual word during the 18th and 19th centuries. 1 decade ago. This likely also helped cement the popularity of “Merry Christmas” in America—newly independent Americans were determined to specifically not do and say things the British way. God bless us, every one! 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. The phrase “Merry Christmas” was first used commercially in the first Christmas Card. You typically don’t wish someone a “merry birthday” or a “merry new year.” But when it comes to the winter holiday, “ merry Christmas” is the standard Christmas greeting. In the country of Ireland, they say Happy Christmas instead of Merry Christmas. Answer Save. 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,. 1. 8 Answers. We say both "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Christmas"; they are interchangeable. One reason may be the alternative meaning, still current there, of "merry" as "tipsy" or "drunk". So this brings us to the Merry Christmas vs Happy Holiday debate that is not complicated and is solved with basic etiquette. 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. Personally, 'Merry' reminds me of booze or Robin Hood. If you know someone is a Christian who is celebrating Christmas you should say to them 'Merry Christmas.' In addition, the language was changing and “merry” was falling out of fashion as a word on its own. Queen Elizabeth II is said to prefer "Happy Christmas" for this reason[3]. But then, in the 18th century, “merry” started to tip the scales, largely thanks to one man: Charles Dickens. While “happy” suggests a more general emotional state of joy, “merry” can imply that there’s a bit of raucous revelry afoot. How do they say merry christmas in ireland? i.e. 7 4990 0 . 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. But, because of the potentially rabble-rousing connotations of “Merry Christmas,” high-class Brits—including the royal family themselves—chose “Happy Christmas” as their default greeting. My family's all from Belgium & folks we know through business as well as pleasure all use the term 'Happy' when speaking of Christmas. And this is the most likely reason it would just sound…odd to use the word for any other holiday. 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. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap. Saying Merry Christmas isn't really all that bad to begin with. 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. the_wife. It stuck around, though, in phrases like “the more the merrier” and—you guessed it—the now increasingly popular “Merry Christmas.” How well do you know A Christmas Carol and its many adaptations? By the same token, ‘Bah! The first written record of someone using “Merry Christmas” comes from a 1534 letter from a bishop to royal minister Thomas Cromwell. It's Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy St. Paddy's Day, Happy Easter, etc. If someone responds, “Happy Holidays,” ask if the person celebrates Christmas? The "Merry Christmas vs. Blithely do we use this phrase as greeting, farewell or exclamation of joy with little thought to the book that made it famous. Sure it potentially could be subjective because what if you have a Jewish person walk into your store, and you say the wrong holiday. He is pictured below with the jovial Ghost of Christmas Present. Why do we say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Christmas? they tend not to write "Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year" because it repeats "Happy' which doesn't read as well. A Christmas Carol’s denouement – with Tim fetching a turkey from the butcher – is just one example of the pivotal role of food in Dickens’s stories. Why? Probably not, but now we've pointed it out the reason will bug you until you've read the answer. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. Humbug!’ entered popular usage, and everyone knows what it means to be called … Merry Christmas! Share 17. 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. Relevance. 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. 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. Why do we say MERRY Christmas instead of another word like "happy"? 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