Christmas 2022: What Is The Difference Between Happy Christmas And Merry Christmas?

Christmas 2022: Christmas is the only celebration where we use the word Merry to wish someone. Have you ever wondered what is the difference between merry Christmas and a happy Christmas? Let’s find out!
Christmas 2022
Christmas 2022

Christmas 2022: December 25th is just around the corner and all of us are eagerly waiting for it. People have started buying gifts for their loved ones, and offices, schools, and public attractions have already begun their decorations for Christmas. 

The word ‘Merry’ has started making its rounds and it got us wondering, “why do we use the word merry to wish someone instead of happy?” And what is the difference between Merry Christmas and happy Christmas?

Let’s find out!

Why don’t people say Happy Christmas?

It’s not that no one says Happy Christmas to wish someone. The greeting is prominently used in Britain. This could be attributed to the late Queen Elizabeth's influence since she used to greet her citizens with a "Happy Christmas" in her yearly broadcasts. 

Also Read | Christmas Day Celebration Welcome Speech in English

It is widely believed that the word "happy" had a higher social level connotation than "merry," which was often linked to the raucousness of the lower classes. Since that time, the royal family has made "Happy Christmas" their preferred greeting, and it is now commonly used in Britain.

How did the greeting “Merry Christmas” originate?

The greeting "Merry Christmas" has been in use since the 14th century. This is stated in a dated letter that the bishop wrote to Thomas Cromwell, the chief minister of the then King of Britain, Henry VIII. The greeting was also used in the 1500s version of the English carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

The greeting was popularised with the release of Charles Dicken’s novel, “A Christmas Carol” in 1843. Dickens’ novel had a major impact on modern English and brought the greeting to new heights in terms of usage. 

Also Read | Christmas Day: Date, History, Celebration, Significance & More

Linguists say that the word “merry” was more befitting of the spirit of Christmas than the word “happy”. 

There was a decline in the usage of the word “merry” around the 18th century, however, phrases such as “the more the merrier,” Christmas songs and carols stuck around, and the greeting “Merry Christmas” became the more popular greeting. Victorian Christmas has defined a lot of modern-day Christmas traditions. 

Now, Merry Christmas is widely used to greet Christmas in the United States and Merry Christmas became prominent in Great Britain. 

We hope that this article was helpful in understanding the differences between Happy Christmas and Merry Christmas. 

Also Read | Check other important days and dates in December 2022

FAQ

When did Happy Christmas become Merry Christmas?

The exact date isn't known. However, the greeting Merry Christmas was used in a dated letter that the bishop wrote to Thomas Cromwell, the chief minister of the then King of Britain, Henry VIII. The greeting was also used in the 1500s version of the English carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

Do Brits say Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas?

Happy Christmas is still used in Britain.

Why do people say Happy Christmas instead of Merry Christmas?

It is widely believed that the word "happy" had a higher social level connotation than "merry," which was often linked to the raucousness of the lower classes. Since that time, the royal family has made "Happy Christmas" their preferred greeting, and it is now commonly used in Britain.
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