Maggie will tell you that the first Christmas card ever published had contained the common holiday phrase “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. Being a dog that loves Christmas she would also remind you that since the early 1500’s “Merry Christmas” has been the standard greeting during the month of December.
I recently returned from England and was brought up to speed on why there is a difference between “Happy Christmas” and “Merry Christmas.” On a tour of London, the conversation came up of King Henry VIII’s top advisor-Thomas Cromwell who used the phrase and during the time the famous carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” became popular. The phrase “Merry Christmas” was made even more popular when it was used as a proper greeting in Charles Dickens’ famous tale “A Christmas Carol”. Back then Christmas was also the time for heavy drinking, dancing, singing, and the exchange of gifts. During this time in England (with the aid of the Royal family) the tradition moved away from “Merry Christmas” toward “Happy Christmas”. My English hosts noted that Queen Victoria was as popular of in America as in Britain. Her husband Prince Albert imported from his native Germany many “calmed down” Christmas traditions which were rapidly adopted.
This week at the CEDC office Maggie continues to greet our visitors with the “Merry Christmas” tail wag. There is no doubt that another word for JOYFUL is MERRY. CEDC knows that being merry has to do with having a positive attitude, a sense of merriment and festivity and being grateful for what we have been given. Be safe and have Merry Christmas!