The Secular Origins of Merry Christmas

I’ve long said Happy Holidays. As a child I understood it to mean Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, as a pastor, my emphasis has shifted to the twelve days of Christmas (today happens to be the third day of Christmas) and Epiphany (a holy day that was once a larger celebration than Christmas). For that reason, I was fascinated by this article in the L. A. Times titled “The Profane Origins of ‘Merry Christmas'” that details the origins of the term. The article takes “Happy Holidays” as a reference to Advent and Christmas, but in my mind Advent is more of a preparatory season, and Christmas and Epiphany are the Holy Days. Regardless of whether you wish me a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” I’m thankful for your blessing.