These days, it's common practice to wish "Merry Christmas" to one another around the 25th of December, the day of Christmas. The origin of this practice is a little obscure. However, it's believed that an English admiral first used the term Merry Christmas in an informal letter, way back in 1699. In 1843, Charles Dickens used the same phrase in "A Christmas Carol." However, notwithstanding the veracity of its origin, "Merry Christmas" has become a sort of universal term to communicate joy and good wishes.
The term Merry Christmas doesn't have any religious bias
and is often used by people of all races and religious backgrounds,
during Christmas time. It reflects that messages of love,
joy and well wishes can be communicated irrespective of belief
systems. It's a greeting that makes total strangers make instant
connection. It's a message that dissolves anger. It's a message
that evaporates misunderstanding between loved ones and creates
a bridge to the beginning of a new relationship. It's amazing
that these two simple words "Merry Christmas" can
have this profound effect.
In some places, people use a slight variation of the term
"Merry Christmas." In Ireland and Great Britain,
some people prefer using "Happy Christmas" instead.
However, the power and significance of the phrase is not diminished
at all because of a difference in phraseology, because the
intent of love and well being remains the same, no matter
which phrase is used.
The phrase "Happy Christmas" was used by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and proceeded to gain popularity in that part of the world. In fact, in the concluding lines of his now famous "A visit from St. Nicholas", Clement Moore actually used "Happy Christmas." However, in later reincarnations of it, "Merry
ere are many holiday greeting terms used across the world.
But "Merry Christmas" remains a very popular term
in countries with large Christian population, like the United
States, Great Britain, Canada and Australia. Other terms
that are used around the same time of the year as a means
of greeting are "Happy holidays", "Seasons
Greetings" and, of course, "Happy Christmas."
There are groups of people who are opposed to the use of
"Merry Christmas" and would prefer something more
general term like the "Happy Christmas." However,
it's interesting to note that in 2005 a survey discovered
that more consumers used "Merry Christmas" than
"Happy Christmas", primarily in the message of
The fact remains that no matter what term you use, it's
the intent that matters. Use of words is merely an audible
method of sending a message. Words have no meaning in themselves,
other than the one perceived by the person who hears it.
And when we are using something like "Merry Christmas",
is there any doubt about our intentions?