Why do we say Merry Christmas?

"Every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart."   A Christmas Carol (1843)

When was the phrase Merry Christmas first used?

The exact origin is unclear but the word 'mery' is associated with Christmas from the 1500s. The carol God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen was first published in 1833. Ten years later, two seemingly unconnected events helped establish Merry Christmas as one of the most commonly used expressions in the English language.

The first Christmas card?

In 1843, civil servant Henry Cole wanted to send a Christmas message to a large number of friends and business contacts. To do this more efficiently, he designed what he called a Christmas card.
The first commercially produced Christmas card - 1843
To help cover his costs, Cole sold spare copies of his cards. These were priced at a shilling each - the equivalent of £50 today. Though the venture proved a commercial flop, it inspired others to enter the market.

Soon the idea of exchanging cards with the slogan 'Merry Christmas' became an established Victorian 'tradition' of Christmas.

A Christmas Carol



Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A Christmas Carol was first published on  December 17, 1843. It sold out in a week and has been hugely popular ever since.

Ebenezer Scrooge could not stop ‘every idiot’ from using the phrase that infuriated him. ‘Merry Christmas’ not ‘Bah! Humbug is still the universal greeting of the season.

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