Sun. Sep 26th, 2021

We wish people a ‘Happy Birthday’, and if you’re in the US in November and December, you’ll probably say Happy Holidays, so why do we often say ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Christmas’ ?!

Saying ‘Merry Christmas‘ instead of ‘Happy Christmas’ goes back hundreds of years. It was first recorded in 1534 when John Fisher (an English Catholic bishop in the 1500s) wrote in a Christmas letter to Thomas Cromwell: “And may our Lord God bless you with a happy Christmas and Calmness sends your heart’s desire. ”

Carol “God Rest You Mary, Gentleman” is also present in 16th century history in England. It comes from the western part of England and was first published in the form we know it today in 1760.

In the English language of the time, the phrase ‘rest you my’ did not just mean to be happy. ‘Comfort’ means “to keep, to maintain” and “mine” can mean “happy, prosperous, prosperous”. So you can write the first line as “[May] God bless you and make you successful and prosperous, kind” but this song will be difficult!

The comma in the sentence should be after ‘mine’ not before! But it is often put after me, which changes the meaning of ‘Merry Gentleman’ and thus ‘Merry Christmas’!

The term ‘Merry Christmas’ may have become very popular in 1843 from two different sources.

The first Christmas card, sent by Sir Henry Cole in 1843, had the words: “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.”

The first Christmas card

“First Christmasmascard”. Public domain licensed by Wikimedia Commons
Charles Dickens’ Christmas carol was also published in 1843 and the book ‘Merry Christmas’ has been published 21 times! Charles Dickens also quoted “God Rest You Merry, Gentleman” in Christmas carols, but changed it: “God bless you, my good mood, nothing to disappoint you!” Moving the coma before me!

Carol “Wish You a Merry Christmas [and Happy New Year]” is another old carol from West Country (Southwest England) but it was first published in 1935 and may have been called ‘Merry Christmas’. Confirmed the use of ‘Merry Christmas’
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