Your email address will not be published. I don't care what you wish me. In Culture Exchange. While each of these phrases have a unique history—they both share the same sentiment. Suffice it to say that when our Lord comes I hope I do not greet him with dignified reserve but instead rush at him with the unguarded, unembarrassed joy of a child at play or man at his cups. When living in America during the December holiday season you may have noticed a little more than just Christmas trees, Santa hats, and other festive decorations. Matthew Schmitz,  It’s Merry Christmas, Not Happy Christmas » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog: Christmas is conspicuously the only time of year when the word “merry” receives heavy use. There is no denying that these two terms are quite similar, and almost identical in nature. But, have you ever wondered why we in the U.S. tend to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Christmas”? Most people think this is the biggest way to differentiate between “merry” and “happy” is simply that. Every year, around this time, the same debate comes to light. 0 . The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown challenges at all of us — including The Michigan Daily — but that hasn’t stopped our staff. Main Points About Merry Christmas vs Happy Christmas. Ilana Mermelstein can be reached at imerm@umich.edu . Merry Christmas refers, specifically, to the Christmas holiday, celebrated December 25th. Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which, in Western Christian Churches, is held annually on 25 December.For centuries, it has been the subject of several reformations, both religious and secular. We may no longer associate “merry” with spirits alcoholic as well as high, but the meaning was once familiar. Whether it’s “merry Christmas” or “happy holidays,” they say the same thing: I hope you have a happy, healthy holiday season. It's first recorded in 1534 when John Fisher (an English Catholic Bishop in the 1500s) wrote it in a Christmas letter to Thomas Cromwell: "And this our Lord God send you a mery Christmas… 0. WHY?? IMPORTANT: We are dedicated to spreading the spirit and joy of Christmas everyday of the year. They are both wonderful greetings to those you see around the Christmas holiday. Does anyone say "Happy Christmas"?. Before this, the term “Happy Christmas” was more common. Charles Dickens was also thought to be a major influencer behind the popularity of this term. The greetings and farewells "merry Christmas" and "happy Christmas" are traditionally used in English-speaking countries, starting a few weeks before December 25 each year. For starters, it's important to note that "Happy Christmas" hasn't faded completely—it's still widely used in England. Saying 'Merry Christmas' rather than 'Happy Christmas' seems to go back several hundred years. Happy describes inner emotional conditions too deep to demonstrate. Many people wanted to bring the holiday back to its former glory. It contained the now household phrase “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”. The phrase "Merry Christmas" refers to a specific Christian holiday, while "Happy holidays" covers the winter holidays from a variety of traditions. How no-one dares to say “Happy CHRISTMAS” in public anymore? Technically, retailers can say merry christmas, happy hanukkah, happy kwanzaa, etc, but it's just easier to say happy … The same goes for when you turn on your favorite Christmas tunes: We Wish You a Merry Christmas or John Lennon‘s Happy Christmas (War is Over). Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners, Swiss will vote on a guaranteed national income. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. However, things began to change, and the holiday began to become more popular in everyday culture. The greeting “Merry Christmas” dates back to at least 1565, in which year the author of the Hereford Municipal Manuscript wrote “And thus I comytt you to god, who send you a mery Christmas & many.” Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, pushed it forward, as did industrialization: The first commercially sold Christmas card (also printed in 1843) contained the salutation “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”. Makes you sick, doesn’t it? After a period of time where Christmas celebrations were outlawed by the Puritans. I Spot Santa April 24, 2019 Christmas Facts Leave a Comment. In the U.K. you will find Queen Elizabeth’s II’s annual Christmas address concluding with a “Happy Christmas” to all. In fact, around this time, in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the term “Merry Christmas” really started to catch on. President Trump is clear which season's greeting he thinks should be used - but do Americans care? Merry Christmas is a greeting that is used when specifying Christmas, so if one wishes someone Merry Christmas, they are only wishing them to have a happy Christmas. You can look at literary references to see how far back the term “Merry Christmas” is used. Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas everyone! "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays": A Summary of U.S. Holiday Greetings. By looking at historic literary works, you will see how far back this greeting can be traced. Also, send me the Evangelical Newsletter. Merry Christmas vs. Once you look deeper at their origins and definitions you will see a few key differences. It made sense why the term merry began to be associated with Christmas so often during the 18th century. Especially as the term “merry” continued to become a more common phrase in common English American language. After all, we say, “Happy Birthday” and “Happy New Year” but why do we say “Merry Christmas”? In the 18th and 19th century when Christmas began to be more accepted in popular culture. Get updates from Cranach delivered straight to your inbox. How to Use “Merry Christmas” “Merry Christmas” is a traditional greeting used to express good tidings during the holiday season. The debate between the 2 phrases goes back several decades. Then again in 1565 in a document called the Hereford Municipal Manuscript. This is because “Happy Christmas” is still a widely used phrase in many places—particularly in England. Many attribute this to the fact that while Americans started to change from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Christmas” (a term that was brought over from British settlers). Well of course, it’s all down to “political correctness”. However, the resilience of the U.K. with this term actually has to do with some of the British upper class. However, merry tends to be more of a celebration. If you know someone celebrates Christmas you can go with “Merry Christmas,” but ‘tis the season for interacting with strangers (selling to them, buying from them, bumping into them on your way out of Target). Then of course did this new phrase “Merry Christmas.”, It was in 1843 when the term was used in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. (Similarly, in Holland some of the more strictly reformed Dutch prefer Zalig Kerstfeest—“Blessed Christmas”—to Vrolijk Kerstmis—“Merry Christmas.”). I think the issue is when major retailers say Merry Christmas, it kind of assumes that everyone celebrates Christmas. Merry Christmas Vs Happy Christmas. Yes, I want the Patheos Evangelical Newsletter as well, Identity Politics vs. Transactional Politics. I suspect this is an example of American English preserving older expressions that were current when the colonies were settled but that have since dropped out of British English. Did you know the first Christmas Card, sent in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, had this wording on it: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You”. This is also the same year that the first ever commercial Christmas card was printed and sold. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Have a great solstice whatever. Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. Discover... Clean Up the Temple of Our Democracy and... Rioters desecrated the temple of American Democracy on January 6. The word “Merry” stems from the old English myrge, which means “pleasing, agreeable, pleasant or sweet”, and Christmas stems from the late Old English Cristes mæsse, that means “Mass of Christ.” His popular story helped usher in new Victorian Christmas stories, myths and traditions. Queen Elizabeth, a woman of serious low-church piety, is said to prefer “happy” to “merry” because she dislikes “merry’s” connotation of boisterousness, even slight intoxication. For example, you might say: Have a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year! Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! However, you can also see just as many literary references to the phrase “Happy Christmas.” Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, ends with “A Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.”. If you found this article interesting, you’ll found “Why Christmas is on December 25th” interesting too, the reason surprised us. Persecution: The New Reality for Biblical... Trump Turns the Country Over to the Democrats, The Cranach Reader Who Predicted COVID-19. Why Americans Say Happy Holidays Vs Merry Christmas. There is no denying that these two terms are quite similar, and almost identical in nature. Also, if “merry” connotes intoxication, why isn’t there a tradition of saying “Merry New Year!”  It is interesting that the secularist levellers say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Holidays.”  I propose that we say “merry” in those contexts, just to throw people off. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Happy Christmas -- the season of goodwill and peace carries loaded greetings. A 9-year-old viewer asked us to find out why we say Merry Christmas and not Happy Christmas. Happy Christmas December 20, 2013 Gene Veith. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. Take a similar stroll down the streets of London and you may hear friendly voices wishing you a “Happy Christmas” instead. '' vs. `` Happy Holidays what do you say Mermelstein can be reached at imerm umich.edu. 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