Here at Stately Spoiler Manor, Eastern Annex, our holiday morning gift-giving is complete, with a few major hits, no disappointing gifts (except for maybe my annual package of underwear, which happens every year because my wife is a meanie-pants) and a mermaid tail.  (That is not a joke.)  All in all, we’ve had a lovely holiday season, and one that has raised a question with The Widget: Because of Doctor Who, I occasionally say “Happy Christmas” instead of “Merry Christmas”, one of many ways that Peter Davison has secretly influenced my behavior in public, leading the child to ask what the difference between the two phrases actually is, and leading to today’s festive run-on sentence query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks it may be a change in the mid-Atlantic, but wishes you whichever one you prefer, because nomenclature is less important than the sentiment, asking: Do you say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Christmas” or something else entirely*?


*(If you choose something else, please share it with the entire Spoilerite class!)

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Mark
    December 25, 2015 at 11:37 am — Reply

    I usually go with the traditional merry Christmas but happy Christmas has a nice ring to it. :)

  2. December 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm — Reply

    I use both about equally. I’m born, raised and still reside in the USA, but I grew up exposed to a ton of foreign TV and films, so I picked up saying “Happy Christmas” just as much as I use “Merry Christmas”.

    However, being the big dork that I am, I’ve also taken to saying “Happy Life Day” in reference to the Wookiee holiday that was very similar to Christmas, and sometimes “Happy Xmas” after the Futurama version of Christmas.

    So whatever holiday you celebrate, have a good one! If you don’t celebrate, then I still hope you have a good day!

  3. December 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm — Reply

    I use merry Christmas when using it in English. Ho we say it in Finnish actually means “good Christmas”, so I have to keep certain phrases like this in mind because they don’t translate directly.

    • December 26, 2015 at 8:40 am — Reply

      Hmm… Finnish-to-English sounds complicated. :)

  4. Chris
    December 25, 2015 at 1:28 pm — Reply

    With my mom being British, I was always raised saying Happy Christmas. I never really found Merry Christmas to sound right for whatever reason. It must be an English thing. Regardless, Happy Christmas!!

  5. Randron
    December 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm — Reply

    I go with Merry Christmas because of the “Night Before Christmas” poem :)
    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

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