Merry Christmas! | Dominican University College

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Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2018

By Maxime Allard O.P.

Merry Christmas!

I’m told that this is the traditional English wish. But, before using it, I thought I should know what I’m saying. Especially since “merry” is not a common word nowadays. When we’re taught English, it barely comes up. We’re told to use it for Christmas and little else, except for some wives from Windsor or for an Austro-Hungarian widow (if you’re into opera).

“Merry” means “pleasing, agreeable, pleasant, sweet”, usually accompanied with a sense of it being short-lasting. If this is so, I wish you a pleasant and agreeable Christmas.

But I also wish that it lasts. Who wants something as joyful as Christmas to just be a fleeting moment? Who, aside from store owners looking forward to a long boxing-day?! Liturgists, on the other hand, want Christmas to last. So much so that this “merry Christmas” is extended until Epiphany in the liturgical calendar… and some would say as far as the Baptism of Christ. I like their attitude.

So, a Merry Christmas to you. A sense of what Christmas is about that lasts in your lives or that gives you a sense of eternity!

And, if it doesn’t last, don’t worry. There will be another one in 2019! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!