However, merry tends to be more of a celebration. Merry Christmas Vs Happy Christmas. However, Happy Holidays include all festivals, whether they are religious or not. 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. This is because “Happy Christmas” is still a widely used phrase in many places—particularly in England. We asked an English Professor at High Point University to explain. Not one to celebrate with feasts and celebrations. You need to look this up on Wikipedia. Otherwise Happy Holidays. I want to defend the Christ whose birth I celebrate. Merry Christmas refers, specifically, to the Christmas holiday, celebrated December 25th. Is Santa Claus Real? To certain ears, then, “Happy Christmas” conveys a sober, well-earned enjoyment, the satisfaction resulting from hard work and virtuous living. Once you look deeper at their origins and definitions you will see a few key differences. You can look at literary references to see how far back the term “Merry Christmas” is used. Traditionally, the term happy means to be pleased, content and satisfied. 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. Anonymous: If you know the other person celebrates Christmas, "Merry Christmas". Should we greet each other with vague holiday cheer or specific Christmas-related well wishes? Never do this - it's one of the quickest and easiest ways to irritate a Brit. Merry Christmas to all! In fact, around this time, in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the term “Merry Christmas” really started to catch on. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. After all, we say, “Happy Birthday” and “Happy New Year” but why do we say “Merry Christmas”? Every year, around this time, the same debate comes to light. False Right-wing Political Appeal to Ancient Christian Heretic... False Right-wing Political Appeal to the Ancient Christian Heretic Pelagius All too... There’s a message that kills and a message that gives life. You are confusing England with the UK. Which phrase conveys a more fitting response to the overwhelming, unearned, gift of Christ’s birth? They are generally used interchangeably but let’s take a closer look. The phrase "Merry Christmas" refers to a specific Christian holiday, while "Happy holidays" covers the winter holidays from a variety of traditions. Many of which are still used in modern Christmas celebrations today. Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays What do you say? Your email address will not be published. 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. Traditionally, the term happy means to be pleased, co… IMPORTANT: We are dedicated to spreading the spirit and joy of Christmas everyday of the year. Persecution: The New Reality for Biblical... Trump Turns the Country Over to the Democrats, The Cranach Reader Who Predicted COVID-19. Ilana Mermelstein can be reached at imerm@umich.edu . Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Have a great solstice whatever. Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters. This is a great post, but let me pose another possibility. It contained the now household phrase “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”. 0. Especially as the term “merry” continued to become a more common phrase in common English American language. But, have you ever wondered why we in the U.S. tend to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Christmas”? 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). Main Points About Merry Christmas vs Happy Christmas. Merry Christmas vs. Yes! People associated being happy with being polite and quietly content and merry with dancing, drinking, feasting and celebrating. Also, send me the Evangelical Newsletter and special offers. By looking at historic literary works, you will see how far back this greeting can be traced. 0 . Both happy and merryare terms used to describe a joyous and pleasureful situation. Merry Christmas and Happy Christmas are both greetings used during the last part of December, around Christmastime.The first word of each is only capitalized when used as a greeting. Back to the Middle Ages, when Christmas was truly a holiday that could be described as “merry.” Back then, Christmas included 12 days of feasting, entertainment, singing and celebrating—it was a merry Christmas back then indeed. This moral suspicion of “Merry Christmas” dates back to the Methodist churchmen of the Victorian era who sought to promote sobriety among the English working class. Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. Happy Holidays, Round 2,016. European Santa Tracker – Pictures and Videos. However, the resilience of the U.K. with this term actually has to do with some of the British upper class. Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas. Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners, Swiss will vote on a guaranteed national income. However, today, rules on “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Christmas” aren’t so strict. (Similarly, in Holland some of the more strictly reformed Dutch prefer Zalig Kerstfeest—“Blessed Christmas”—to Vrolijk Kerstmis—“Merry Christmas.”). The same cultural impact wasn’t happening across the pond. 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. Some people need to be reminded that the U.S. is not a Christian country. The "Merry Christmas vs. 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? What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became an argument of political malice. Variations are: "Merry Christmas", the traditional English greeting, composed of merry (jolly, happy) and Christmas (Old English: Cristes mæsse, for Christ's Mass). How to Use “Merry Christmas” “Merry Christmas” is a traditional greeting used to express good tidings during the holiday season. (Another example would be “Fall” instead of “Autumn.”)  Americans went through Prohibition but still used “Merry,” whereas Australians–who make merry quite a bit in the 16th century sense–still use “Happy Christmas.”. Posted November 24, 2016. They are both wonderful greetings to those you see around the Christmas holiday. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. Does anyone say "Happy Christmas"?. The phrase “Merry Christmas” would hang on, but the image of a family sharing a bottle of port or wine in the first commercial Christmas card was to give way to more temperate holiday depictions. Yet, it isn’t like that everywhere else in the world. 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). Trump, Obama and the War on Christmas A look at how the phrases "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" were used under President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown challenges at all of us — including The Michigan Daily — but that hasn’t stopped our staff. Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. Also, send me the Evangelical Newsletter. Here is a look at where these two terms come from and what they mean. 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). © I Spot Santa™ 2009-2019, Murena Entertainment LLC™, NP Newsroom, Denali Park: The Puffy Jacket, Official Letter To Santa Claus (Printable), Mrs. Claus’ Favorite Christmas Recipes: Cookies and Breads, Santa Facts – Magical Powers and Revelations, 5 Santa Sightings That Will Make You Believe, The BEST Soft & Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe. 12/25/2020 01:35 Subject: Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays! You may hear the phrase “Merry Christmas” around the world, including in England. Merry Christmas is frequently used by the American people while Happy Christmas is commonly used by the British. The perennial debate gets a new coat of cheer from Donald Trump. Charles Dickens was also thought to be a major influencer behind the popularity of this term. They have the same meaning, are similar phrases. They are generally used interchangeably but let’s take a closer look. It includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and even New Years. In general, “Happy Holidays” is accepted as the broadest and most inclusive greeting at this time of year. While each of these phrases have a unique history—they both share the same sentiment. Find out the truth here! Once you look deeper at their origins and definitions you will see a few key differences. The greeting “Merry Christmas” has a pretty long history. Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! If you are anything like me, your social media feed has been full of debate relating to the use of “Merry Christmas” this holiday season. Get updates from Cranach delivered straight to your inbox. WHY?? According to Why Christmas. "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays": A Summary of U.S. Holiday Greetings. Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas, why do we say Merry instead of Happy? Why Americans Say Happy Holidays Vs Merry Christmas. In fact, Christmas was illegal and the puritans in England and America panned the holiday. Many people wanted to bring the holiday back to its former glory. Variations include “happy Christmas” and “merry Xmas” (where the “X” stands in for “Christ”). President Trump is clear which season's greeting he thinks should be used - but do Americans care? Required fields are marked *. I don't care what you wish me. 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. You may be surprised to find that while many people think of “Merry Christmas” as the more modern of the two phrases. See what he says after the jump, along with what I say. In the 18th century, when merry was first developed, it was actually a euphemism for being intoxicated. It's a controversy that everyone has an opinion on. ‘Happy Holidays’ Is Pro-Christmas ... I’ll say, “Merry Christmas.” The other person will respond, “Happy holidays.” Tranquility turns to tension. In Culture Exchange. And rightfully so. We may no longer associate “merry” with spirits alcoholic as well as high, but the meaning was once familiar. There is no denying that these two terms are quite similar, and almost identical in nature. In the 18th and 19th century when Christmas began to be more accepted in popular culture. They have the same meaning, are similar phrases. How no-one dares to say “Happy CHRISTMAS” in public anymore? Or should we say Happy Holidays? I think the issue is when major retailers say Merry Christmas, it kind of assumes that everyone celebrates Christmas. Then of course did this new phrase “Merry Christmas.”, It was in 1843 when the term was used in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. 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”. Yet “Merry Christmas” did not gain universal support. Both happy and merry are terms used to describe a joyous and pleasureful situation. Many people started greetings with “Merry” instead of “Happy”—some members of the British upper class thought that the word merry had vulgar connotations. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Happy Christmas -- the season of goodwill and peace carries loaded greetings. After a period of time where Christmas celebrations were outlawed by the Puritans. If … and other seasonal greetings.” The dictionary says “happy” is used similarly “in expressions of good wishes for a person or persons on a celebratory occasion, event, day, etc., as happy birthday, happy Christmas, happy New Year, etc.” 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. When one is speaking of a happy or merry Christmas, the adjectives are lowercase. We do say both, but Happy Christmas tends to predominate. Both are about enjoying Christmas…the only difference lies in the beginning adjectives. Andrew McGill December 20, 2016.

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