Skip to comments.By 2-to-1 Margin, Americans Prefer 'Merry Christmas' Over 'Happy Holidays'
Posted on 12/23/2011 1:04:31 PM PST by Coleus
Americans overwhelmingly prefer the traditional Merry Christmas greeting over the Happy Holidays that some stores and businesses require their employees to utilize at this time of year. A new Marist Poll of 1,026 adults nationwide finds that 64 percent nearly two-thirds think the appropriate greeting should be Merry Christmas, while 31 percent favored Happy Holidays.
The sentiment was strongest in the Midwest (70 percent) -- but income level made no difference -- with the same level of support (64 percent) for those who made under $50,000 as those who made over $50,000 a year. People 45 or older were much more likely (72 percent) to support Merry Christmas, but the gap narrows to just two percentage points (49 percent to 47 percent) among those under age 45.
"That we prefer Merry Christmas by such a wide margin, is indicative of of the importance of Christmas has in the lives of the great majority of Americans, said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. The Marist Poll was conducted Nov. 8-10 by the Marist Institute of Public Opinion for the Knights of Columbus, and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
The Marist findings are consistent with the findings of pollster George Gallup on this issue. The last time the Gallup Organization surveyed Americans on the use of "Merry Christmas" was back in 2005. At that time, 62 percent of Americans supported "Merry Christmas" -- and said that the use of "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" was a change for the worse. Only 24 percent considered it a change for the better.
Good to know I’m not the only one. This PC baloney has gotten out of hand.
Let me be the first on this thread to personally wish you a Merry Christmas, Coleus.
If they don't put a stop to it, they deserve what they get.
Yet thay will spend most of the actual Christmas Season wishing one another Happy New Year. A hopeful Advent to you all.
Barry still thinks this is a Muslim country.
Even more than Merry Christmas, I prefer:
Here’s Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!!
[Made some guy’s day at Home Depot the other day, responding to his “Happy Holidays” with the above]
“A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You” was the verse that was shown on the first commercially available Christmas card in 1843. Christmases has been merry long before that though. The use of ‘Merry Christmas’ as a seasonal salutation dates back to at least 1565, when it appeared in The Hereford Municipal Manuscript:
“And thus I comytt you to god, who send you a mery Christmas & many.”
1843 was also the date of the publication of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol and it was around that time, in the early part of the reign of Queen Victoria, that Christmas as we now know it was largely invented. The word merry was then beginning to take on its current meaning of ‘jovial, and outgoing’ (and, let’s face it, probably mildly intoxicated). Prior to that, in the times when other ‘merry’ phrases were coined, for example, make merry (circa 1300), Merry England (circa 1400) and the merry month of May (1560s), merry had a different meaning, i.e. ‘pleasant, peaceful and agreeable’.
That change in meaning is apparently viewed with disfavour by Queen Elizabeth II, who wishes her subjects a ‘happy’ rather than ‘merry’ Christmas in her annual Christmas broadcasts. The idea of a modern-day merry England is presumably unwelcome at the palace.
The best-known allusion to merriment at Christmas is the English carol God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. The source of this piece isn’t known. It was first published in William Sandys’ Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern in 1833, although versions of it probably existed as a folk-song and tune well before that but weren’t written down. Sir Thomas Elyot, lists the phrase ‘rest you merry’ in his Dictionary in 1548:
“Aye, bee thou gladde: or joyfull, as the vulgare people saie Reste you mery.”
It is often assumed that the carol’s lyric portrays the wish that jovial gentlemen might enjoy repose and tranquility. The punctuation of the song suggests otherwise though - it’s ‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen’, not ‘God rest ye, merry gentlemen’. In this context ‘to rest’ doesn’t mean ‘to repose’ but ‘to keep, or remain as you are’ - like the ‘rest’ in ‘rest assured’.
‘Rest ye merry’ means ‘remain peacefully content’ and the carol contains the wish that God should grant that favour to gentlemen (gentlewomen were presumably busy in the kitchen). It isn’t the ‘rest’ that is being given but the ‘merry’. Anyone misreading that comma is in good company though. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen was the carol that Dickens was referring to in A Christmas Carol:
“The owner of one scant young nose, gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs, stooped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of
God bless you, merry gentleman!
May nothing you dismay!
Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror.”
If it wasn’t for Christmas there wouldn’t be a “Happy Holiday”! I’ve never experienced more people at our stores, in our neighborhood or just passing by that seem to be stressing their “Merry Christmas” greeting more than usual. People are fed up with the PC BS!