Happy puppy dog celebrating christmas with a red santa claus hat and smiling expression.
Happy puppy dog celebrating christmas with a red santa claus hat and smiling expression.

Why We Wish People a Merry, Not Happy Christmas

Ever wonder why we wish people a “Merry” Christmas and not a “Happy Christmas”?  After all, we wish people a “happy birthday” or say, “Happy Easter” or “Happy Halloween” or “Happy Mother’s Day,” right?

But at Christmas, we wish people a Merry Christmas?

So why do we do this?

Being “happy” is seen as more of an emotional condition, while “merry” is seen as more of a behavior. “Merry” also implies a more active showing of happiness. Kind of like the phrases – “making merry” or “merry making.”  Therefore it is something we can wish upon somebody.

For that matter, I suppose you could wish someone a Merry Hanukah, a Merry Kwanza, even a Merry Holiday, if you like. So that’s your challenge over this next week – to not just wish someone a happy Christmas, but a Merry Christmas. That’s my wish for you.

**Photo Credit: Getty Images/smrm1977

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