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The phrases Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays do have some differences. The Obama and Bush administration both said “Happy Holidays” on the White House cards, but they both also wished the nation a “Merry Christmas” as a whole. It encompasses all holidays, religious in nature or not, that are celebrated during the winter holiday season. That is because “happy holidays” originated as a way to express gratitude and courtesy around the Advent. Perhaps the endurance of these two phrases is due to the pleasant sound they create. According to these books, the phrase "Merry Christmas" is a far more importantpart of our literary culture than "Happy Holidays." 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. Trump has decided to take a less politically correct approach, by boldly proclaiming “Merry Christmas” on the official cards. As historian Neil J. December 7, 2016 / Employment Law. Merry Christmas vs. Amazon Doesn't Want You to Know About This Plugin. Anonymous: Anonymous wrote:If I either know you and know what you celebrate, or there are clear signs of what you celebrate, I wish you that. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited. Still, Queen Elizabeth II — perhaps sensitive to all that “merry” might connote — elects to wish her subjects a “happy Christmas” in her annual address. In this case, it has evolved to the point of nondescript, perfunctory salutation. Anonymous: Anonymous wrote:If I either know you and know what you celebrate, or there are clear signs of what you celebrate, I wish you that. For example, you might say: Have a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year! As historian Neil J. WHY?? As a practicing Christian, I realize I'm expected to be bothered by the use of "Happy Holidays" in place of "Merry Christmas", but honestly I'm not. These two wishes of good cheer are echoed on busy streets and in homes starting almost as soon as the Thanksgiving meal has been wrapped into leftover containers. 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. Expressions of greeting and courtesy, “merry Christmas” and “happy holidays” can be thought of as seasonal variations on the usual diplomatic clichés. To me, the religious holy day known as Christmas is a different entity than the bloated secular holiday most people observe. The saying Happy Holidays includes all religions and cultures in its sentiment. Happy Holidays Vs Merry Christmas . Happy Holidays, Round 2,016. You use the plural form because you’re wishing happiness upon someone for a span of time instead of on one specific celebrated day. Learn about a little known plugin that tells you if you're getting the best price on Amazon. Happy Holidays: Should I Say Either At Work? Calum Marsh: Language evolves. Let everyone know about the miracle that happened today all those years ago and why you are so excited to celebrate it. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. There is something different, but similarly pleasing about the alliterative pairing of “happy” and “holidays.”. But what about the “holidays” for which we are wishing others such a nice time? I say Merry Christmas a lot. December 7, 2016 / Employment Law. In the case of “merry Christmas” and “happy holidays,” it has evolved to the point of nondescript, perfunctory salutation, of no more serious consequence in its particulars than when the man on the customer-service helpline asks “how may I assist you?” It means an ounce of fellow-feeling and a need to keep transactions moving, plus maybe the scarcest shade of festive spirit owing to the decorations and snow on the ground — nothing more, nothing less. We encountered an issue signing you up. There's also the idea of not knowing other people's religious or non-religious status. You probably remember last year … A tweet from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reignited the debate of saying 'Merry Christmas' vs. 'Happy Holidays' this season. Many years ago I worked in a county courthouse. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Happy Christmas -- the season of goodwill and peace carries loaded greetings. Well of course, it’s all down to “political correctness”. Nov 19. Semantics spoil the gesture, when all you want is to be affable, and idle would it be to get too invested in what either phrase, in any ordinary social context, really means. Perhaps the endurance of these two phrases is due to the pleasant sound they create; charming in ways that “merry holidays” and “happy Christmas” — other than to the English — simply are not. By being asked to set aside the religious aspects of the holiday season, they feel that their own religion is not being tolerated. When one is speaking of a happy or merry Christmas, the adjectives are lowercase. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became an argument of political malice. Sometimes I say Seasons Greetings. Young observed last year in the, , “merry Christmas” was then “something the uncouth masses shouted as they traveled in drunken mobs.”, The value of conviviality is a lesson Ebenezer Scrooge learns in, , published in 1843. I don’t know about you, but I want to stand up for this Christmas season I love. And so it’s not coincidence that the phrase should recur frequently throughout the novella, signifying not libertine cheer but simple mirth and good-natured jolliness. Happy Holidays! Etymologists agree that the first recorded use of the expression is the one listed still in the Oxford English Dictionary: “And this our Lord God send you a merry Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire,” the English Catholic bishop John Fisher wrote to lawyer and Reformation advocate Thomas Cromwell in a letter dated the 22nd of December, 1534. We're talking 17-to-1, here. Pray in Jesus’s name. After all, for most other holidays, we use the word "happy." The perennial debate gets a new coat of cheer from Donald Trump. With all of the chaos going on in the world, that energy should be used to unite the already divided church and love the unchurched. I don't think this should be such a controversial subject. Wherever Santa Claus takes prominence over the nativity, someone will complain that we’ve lost the true meaning of Christmas. This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. Please try again, 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4. It is a traditionally Christian sentiment. And compared with five years ago, a growing share of Americans (52%) say it does not matter to them how they are greeted in stores and businesses during the holiday season – whether with “merry Christmas” or a less-religious greeting like “happy holidays”. God (or Santa) bless us, every one. Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. A welcome email is on its way. Isn't that in all the Christmas cards anyway? Margo has a varied academic background, which has involved everything from psychology and People get so bent out of shape and can't accept the fact that Christ's birth should not be taken out of context. No one is entirely certain of the answer, but there are several interesting theories. It encompasses all holidays, religious in nature or not, that are celebrated during the winter holiday season. The debate over whether one should say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy holidays" has been going on for decades. My favorite Christmas song was “O Holy Night”. Subject: Re:Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays! Saying "Happy Hannukah" to someone who is not Jewish would be just as bothersome as saying "Merry Christmas" to someone who is not particularly religious. But even this potted history begins at once to smack of the sort of rhetoric that’s almost as long seemed a boring cliché. Happy Hanukkah! However, the resilience of the U.K. with this term actually has to do with some of the British upper class. Just say the greeting you think is best. Related. We want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! The "Merry Christmas vs. However, I still agree with you in that "Merry Christmas" should still be used. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. According to church groups, this should not mean only for religions other than Christianity. Posted by Adam Lockhart With Thanksgiving comes my favorite sporting tradition and no, it’s not watching the Lions get spanked again on national television. In a world where "Happy Easter" and "Happy Birthday" are the norm, that "merry" part of "Merry Christmas" is unique—to say the least. Happy Holidays. Sometimes I say Seasons Greetings. Merry Christmas refers, specifically, to the Christmas holiday, celebrated December 25th. But others say "Happy Holidays" is … @baileybear - "Happy Holidays" is definitely a more PC concept and I think it's more appropriate. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. They are not means of converting non-Christians, or denouncing Christ as the reason behind Christmas. Like “how’s it going” or “have a nice day,” they have an automatic quality, uttered as a reflex to punctuate the beginning and end of civil conversation. According to these books, the phrase "Merry Christmas" is a far more importantpart of our literary culture than "Happy Holidays." The word “holiday,” as you will might have guessed, derives from the Old English word “haligdaeg,” a compound of the words “halig” and “daeg” — “holy” and “day” — yoked together in that fashion as far back as the 10th century, or perhaps even earlier. Times, “merry Christmas” was then “something the uncouth masses shouted as they traveled in drunken mobs.”. 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