Merry & Happy
Do you wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ or a ‘Happy Christmas’?
This is a question I was asked recently, and my reply was that I use both – in Christmas cards I usually use merry, but in speech I use happy. How about you?
Would you ever with someone a Merry New Year? This doesn’t sounds quite right to me.
Do other languages make a distinction between merriment* and happiness**?
* participation in amusing and enjoyable activities; fun; exuberant enjoyment
** the state of pleasurable content of mind, which results from success or the attainment of what is considered good
Definitions from the OED.