null
Why do we say Merry Christmas and not Happy Christmas?

Aug 26th 2019

Why do we say Merry Christmas and not Happy Christmas?

Where Does Merry Christmas Come From?

While there are indications ‘Merry Christmas’ was used as far back as the 1500s, the phrase was not popular until 1843, when two things happened. One, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was published. The novella (that’s right, a novella before it was a play) was incredibly popular and the celebratory salutation was used throughout. The Victorian public took the phrase to a new level of popular usage.Two, the very first commercial Christmas card was circulated. The message of ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’ goes far in explaining the use of merry, as any marketing editor will tell you, Happy Christmas and Happy New Year doesn’t have the snap of a successful holiday expression.

Who Uses ‘Happy’ Christmas?

With the influences of commercial cards and a ridiculously popular story transforming usage, why is ‘Happy’ Christmas still used? Apparently the Queen of England is the cause. Her annual Christmas message uses the phrase, and all official royal announcements do as well. She apparently prefers the content condition of happy to the boisterous behavior of merry. So Britain and numerous Commonwealth countries, notably Australia, use ‘Happy Christmas’ to this day.

Watch Your Commas

One use of merry that inspired Dickens was in the carol God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen. Except the comma is in the wrong place! The correct writing is God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, meaning God keep you in prosperity and health, rather than God make you take a nap. And there is something to be said for the call to ‘merry-making’ in the phrase as opposed to the admonition merely to be ‘happy’.

Merry Christmas For All

The secularity of many modern Christmas traditions coupled with the widespread popularity of the holiday has made Christmas a time of joy and celebration for anyone who wishes to have it, Christian, non-Christian, and atheist alike. Perhaps that alone warrants the special case use of ‘merry’ in Merry Christmas, which is as special a holiday as holidays can get.

Browse Business Christmas Cards

Related Articles

Best Place to Order Christmas Cards 2020

The Best Way To Order Your 2020 Holiday Cards Online When the end of the year starts to inch closer, many people begin to plan for the holiday season. From purchasing gifts to ar

Read More →
Great Custom Christmas Cards to Send Customers this Season

Sending customers custom Christmas, holiday or seasonal cards can be a meaningful step toward building lasting relationships. You can impress the recipients on any mailing list by designing&nbsp

Read More →
How do I stop feeling bad from throwing away greetings cards?

Great Uses for Greeting Cards That Don’t Involve the Trash Receiving  greeting cards in the mail can be a heartwarming experience. Of course, it can also be a point of stress for so

Read More →

TRUSTED BY

Subway Kaiser Permanente FedEx Hilton Tmobile TBS
Custom Cards Fully Custom
Greeting Cards

Add your own message, logo,
signature, font, color, & more

Friendly Customer Service Friendly
Customer Service

Live agents eager to help
via chat or phone

20% Donated From Every Purchase 20% Donated
From Every Purchase

Select from dozens of charities to
give to the causes you care about

Made In USA Proudly Made
in the USA

Made in the United States
with fast turnaround & shipping