Otherwise Happy Holidays. While each of these phrases have a unique history—they both share the same sentiment. 12/25/2020 01:35 Subject: Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays! Whether it’s “merry Christmas” or “happy holidays,” they say the same thing: I hope you have a happy, healthy holiday season. (Similarly, in Holland some of the more strictly reformed Dutch prefer Zalig Kerstfeest—“Blessed Christmas”—to Vrolijk Kerstmis—“Merry Christmas.”). For example, you might say: Have a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year! All visitors must be smiling and spreading that cheer also. I don’t know about you, but I want to stand up for this Christmas season I love. 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). Especially as the term “merry” continued to become a more common phrase in common English American language. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. I think the issue is when major retailers say Merry Christmas, it kind of assumes that everyone celebrates Christmas. 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. Once you look deeper at their origins and definitions you will see a few key differences. Some people need to be reminded that the U.S. is not a Christian country. Most people think this is the biggest way to differentiate between “merry” and “happy” is simply that. People associated being happy with being polite and quietly content and merry with dancing, drinking, feasting and celebrating. This is a great post, but let me pose another possibility. Many people wanted to bring the holiday back to its former glory. Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! 0 . Wait. In the 18th and 19th century when Christmas began to be more accepted in popular 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.”. There is no denying that these two terms are quite similar, and almost identical in nature. Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners, Swiss will vote on a guaranteed national income. Saying 'Merry Christmas' rather than 'Happy Christmas' seems to go back several hundred years. Happy describes inner emotional conditions too deep to demonstrate. They have the same meaning, are similar phrases. It could also be due to Charles Dickens book A Christmas Carol. You are confusing England with the UK. However, merry tends to be more of a celebration. 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… Here is a look at where these two terms come from and what they mean. You need to look this up on Wikipedia. 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. I want to advocate for the God whose name is being blighted and whose glory is being shoved as far from public circles as possible. Traditionally, the term happy means to be pleased, co… Merry Christmas is frequently used by the American people while Happy Christmas is commonly used by the British. But, have you ever wondered why we in the U.S. tend to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Christmas”? Should we greet each other with vague holiday cheer or specific Christmas-related well wishes? Yes! After all, we say, “Happy Birthday” and “Happy New Year” but why do we say “Merry Christmas”? Walk down a festive, holly-trimmed street in December, and chances are you will be greeted with a hearty “Merry Christmas.” Here in the United States, this is the average greeting during the holiday season. Variations include “happy Christmas” and “merry Xmas” (where the “X” stands in for “Christ”). Variations are: "Merry Christmas", the traditional English greeting, composed of merry (jolly, happy) and Christmas (Old English: Cristes mæsse, for Christ's Mass). Or should we say Happy Holidays? WHY?? However, in the 17th century, it didn’t mean this was a phrase that was being used as regularly as it is today. Anonymous: If you know the other person celebrates Christmas, "Merry Christmas". 0. Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas. 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. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Happy Christmas -- the season of goodwill and peace carries loaded greetings. They are generally used interchangeably but let’s take a closer look. The Night Before Christmas (Clement C. Moore’s, I mean, not Nikolai Gogol’s) ends with the words, “A Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.” Queen Elizabeth II wishes British subjects a “Happy Christmas” in her annual Christmas broadcasts, and the phrase enjoys a broad general currency the U.K. What accounts for the difference? And rightfully so. In fact, Christmas was illegal and the puritans in England and America panned the holiday. Every year, around this time, the same debate comes to light. In the U.K. you will find Queen Elizabeth’s II’s annual Christmas address concluding with a “Happy Christmas” to all. When one is speaking of a happy or merry Christmas, the adjectives are lowercase. In general, “Happy Holidays” is accepted as the broadest and most inclusive greeting at this time of year. Posted November 24, 2016. Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas: The Last Thing That Ever Needs To Be Said About It 12/04/2013 04:00 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2014 Every year at the beginning of December some Americans engage in a ridiculous rhetorical ritual that recycles righteous arguments about whether people should say to one another Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. The greeting “Merry Christmas” has a pretty long history. 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