Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas

King Charles III and the Queen Consort, Camilla, released their first Christmas card since Charles became king. The message reads: Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Upon seeing this, my husband noted that in Canada we tend to wish people a Merry Christmas, whereas residents of the UK wish people a happy one.

Having mulled it over, in future I will wish people a Happy Christmas, because that is my truer wish. A person can be merry without being happy at all.

Merriment is surface stuff. To be merry, a person needs only to smile, laugh, and overindulge in shortbread and eggnog.

Happiness runs deeper than that. A happy person doesn’t need to be merry at all. Happiness is sitting at peace in the moment and being grateful for what is. The merriment, the gifts, the gingerbread, and the spiked hot chocolate are mere bonuses.

No matter what or how you celebrate, may you sit at peace in the moment, grateful for what is.

Happy Christmas.

A lit Christmas ball hangs from the branch of a tree laden with snow.

15 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas

  1. Endless Weekend

    I like the distinction you’re making between “merry” and “happy”, and I agree, it’s a different emotion. Just like “joyous” and “glad” are different. Words have power we all too often dismiss. I’m GLAD you brought it up, and HAPPY holiday season to you (did I capture what would work for folks on both sides of the ocean? 🙃)! ⛄️

  2. karen

    🎄 Happy Christmas to you, Arlene. Merriment can be exhausting…whereas happiness is a much calmer state. I know which one I’m going for this holiday ☺️

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      Oh, how wonderful to find your comment – several days late, I’m sorry to say. I have been immersed in staying happy amongst the merry. I hope you and your wonderful family had a happy Christmas.

  3. Joni

    I agree, the British tradition is much better. Many people feel pressured to be “merry” this time of year, when they might just feel content to stay home and be quiet. Happy Holidays!


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