Doon   Sunday, December 28, 2003, 17:03 GMT
Is there any difference between "Happy Christmas" and "Merry Christmas?"
Eastie   Sunday, December 28, 2003, 18:30 GMT
There's no difference. "Happy Christmas" is commonly heard in the UK and several other Commonwealth countries, while "Merry Christmas" is the customary holiday greeting in the US and Canada.
Re Doon   Sunday, December 28, 2003, 19:37 GMT
I would say that ''merry Christmas'' does sound a lot better than ''happy Christmas''. Saying ''happy Christmas'' is not common in the area that I live in.
A.S.C.M.   Monday, December 29, 2003, 00:29 GMT
There's absolutely no difference between the two felicitations. The only reason why "Merry Christmas" is more popular is because of the song "We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Re A.S.C.M.   Monday, December 29, 2003, 02:42 GMT
When people tell me ''happy Christmas'' I always correct them. You don't say ''happy Christmas'' you say ''merry Christmas''.
Doon   Monday, December 29, 2003, 04:13 GMT
Isn't that a British song?
In fact both variants are used in the UK.
A.S.C.M.   Monday, December 29, 2003, 07:14 GMT
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year" is a British song but it's also very popular in the United States. Or am I mistaken?

To Re A.S.C.M., there's nothing wrong with "happy Christmas". It's certainly not considered very traditional or proper by most Americans (and some Britons) but it makes perfect sense.
Re A.S.C.M.   Monday, December 29, 2003, 15:03 GMT
I know there's nothing wrong with ''happy Christmas'' but ''merry Christmas'' sounds better. It just sounds really weird to me when I hear people saying ''happy Christmas'', Maybe because It's not commonly heard.
Alice   Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 18:17 GMT
I'm certainly much more accustomed to hearing "Merry Christmas", but "Happy Christmas" sounds fine too. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" is definately a popular song in the US.
mike   Wednesday, December 31, 2003, 12:14 GMT
The main difference between the two is that when you say merry Christmas there's a certain twinkle in your eye(:
Bren   Friday, January 02, 2004, 01:13 GMT
They're the same. Where I come from, both are commonly used, so...
Jim   Monday, January 05, 2004, 01:06 GMT
I say either but "Happy Christmas!" seems to be the one on the tip of my tongue.

The only problem with "Happy Christmas ..." is that it can leave you with a dilemma: do you follow it up with "... and a Happy New Year!" or with "... and a Merry New Year!"? "Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!" has too many "happy"s. "Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!" just sounds muddled.

If concentrate and I think about following it up with something about the new year I'll say "Merry Christmas ..." However, if I just say what comes out naturally it'll be "Happy Christmas!"

To Re A.S.C.M.,

I wonder if it wouldn't be in better Christmas spirit to say "Bah humbug!" whenever people say "Happy Christmas!" to you rather than "correcting" them.
Lou   Wednesday, January 07, 2004, 20:08 GMT
Surely the answer to 'Happy Christmas' or 'Merry Christmas' could just b e, 'Thanks, you too!' For me, being merry at Christmas doesn't fit anyway, as Christmas is a very quiet day, filled with thoughts about what Christmas really means, and is not at all the way it has been changed to a commercial undertaking.
Fly   Wednesday, January 07, 2004, 21:29 GMT
Merry Birthday to you
Merry Birthday to you
Merry Birthday to whoever likes this song
Merry Birthday to you!
Alice   Wednesday, January 07, 2004, 23:28 GMT
I generally try to avoid offending or confusing by wishing people a "Joyous holiday season". This works well in corrospondence, but when spoken sounds rather affected. Ah well, at least this is one problem I can put aside 'til next year.