"Merry Christmas"

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Dec 26 03:50:24 UTC 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Barbara Need
> Sent: Saturday, December 25, 2004 6:54 PM
> Subject: Re: "Merry Christmas"
> I asked a Brit today about this and he reports that Happy Christmas
> is a recent phenomenon in England, within the last 20 years. He said
> that it was a reaction to the association between _merry_ and
> drinking and people didn't want Christmas connected to drinking.

There is a wonderful 1973 British children's book by Raymond Briggs titled
"Father Christmas," that details the Christmas Eve activities of the title
character. It's an illustrated book, comic-book style with few words, but
what few words there are include Father Christmas saying "Happy Christmas"
to various pets. This puts the usage back at least 30 years.

(BTW, I highly recommend the book for adults and children alike. It's great
fun and was a staple of our holiday coffee table growing up.)

--Dave Wilton
  dave at wilton.net

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