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’. 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’. We say both "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Christmas"; they are interchangeable. 1 decade ago. The phrase “Merry Christmas” was first used commercially in the first Christmas Card. Sure it potentially could be subjective because what if you have a Jewish person walk into your store, and you say the wrong holiday. Merry Christmas! Most people specially non-British or English use the word Merry instead of Happy. Think of it this way: “Happy Holidays” includes Christmas as one of those holidays, and “Merry Christmas” leaves out everything other than Christmas. 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’. The lost portrait of Dickens, painted by Margaret Gillies during the very same weeks in which he wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843. 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. Personally, I have never used and I will never use “Xmas.” The royal family adopted "Happy Christmas" as their preferred greeting, and others took note. It was gaining popularity in carols as well. It is the religious connection with the birth of Christ. Why? 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.” 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. Queen Elizabeth II is said to prefer "Happy Christmas" for this reason[3]. Likewise, say 'Happy Hanukkah' to a … By the same token, ‘Bah! 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. The "Merry Christmas vs. If you know someone is a Christian who is celebrating Christmas you should say to them 'Merry Christmas.' This is why Brits and Americans spell so many words differently. The debate between the 2 phrases goes back several decades. How do they say merry christmas in ireland? Many peopl… One of Richmond's most recognisable landmarks has been converted into plush apartments. In the 18th and 19thcentury when Christmas began to be more accepted in popular culture. As Christians, wishing others “Merry Christmas” can open the door to a spiritual conversation. 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. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. 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’. 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. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became an argument of political malice. 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). However, it is more complex than that. Why do we say MERRY Christmas instead of another word like "happy"? Personally, 'Merry' reminds me of booze or Robin Hood. Most people think this is the biggest way to differentiate between “merry” and “happy” is simply that. Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. Blithely do we use this phrase as greeting, farewell or exclamation of joy with little thought to the book that made it famous. We've picked out five. There's nothing at all wrong with Merry Christmas. Likewise if you wished someone a “Happy Christmas” (unless you live in England, where many people do say “Happy Christmas”). However, the resilience of the U.K. with this term actually has to do with some of the British upper class. Relevance. 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. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. by Day Translations - December 24, 2017. Why do we say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Christmas? We recommend our users to update the browser. Why is it Merry Christmas and not Happy Christmas? Saying Merry Christmas isn't really all that bad to begin with. Because people have turned into maniacal, politically-correct morons underpinning the need to whine, and complain about useless things. He is pictured below with the jovial Ghost of Christmas Present. So this brings us to the Merry Christmas vs Happy Holiday debate that is not complicated and is solved with basic etiquette. But then, in the 18th century, “merry” started to tip the scales, largely thanks to one man: Charles Dickens. (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!) 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? they tend not to write "Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year" because it repeats "Happy' which doesn't read as well. In the country of Ireland, they say Happy Christmas instead of Merry Christmas. Probably not, but now we've pointed it out the reason will bug you until you've read the answer. Have you ever stopped to wonder why we say 'Merry Christmas' when for every other occasion we use the word 'happy' instead'? Humbug!’ entered popular usage, and everyone knows what it means to be called … It's Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy St. Paddy's Day, Happy Easter, etc. 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. I think we just grow up saying whatever we're used to. Not in … 7 4990 0 . She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap. It’s now on display at Philip Mould & Company until January 25, 2019 – see www.philipmould.com for details. If that is true Christians are being persecuted every time they cannot force their religious beliefs on others and the minority should all apologize. My family's all from Belgium & folks we know through business as well as pleasure all use the term 'Happy' when speaking of Christmas. 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” 8 Answers. 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. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference … Out of courtesy towards all other beliefs, we just say Happy Holidays instead. The alternative "Happy Christmas" gained wide usage in the late 19th century, and is still common in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Why is Christmas the only holiday we hope will be “merry”? 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. the_wife. Favourite answer. 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.” In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. 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. In addition, the language was changing and “merry” was falling out of fashion as a word on its own. God bless us, every one! 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,. i.e. December 22, 2014 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. The "Merry Christmas vs. For book lovers who never get the time to read, audiobooks can make a great present. In the Irish language it is said as Nollaig Shona Duit. 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. Writer for RD.com who has been converted into plush apartments a while now was published in Angles literary.! Is it Merry Christmas ’ instead of another word like `` Happy Christmas '' as their preferred,... 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