Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Christmas!

Well, here we are: Christmas. Finally! So first of all, let me do a very British thing and say "Happy Christmas" to everyone.

Have you ever wondered why, in America, we say "Merry Christmas," but for every other holiday we use the word happy? Happy Easter, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy New Year, Happy Fourth. I wonder why that is? And we don't say "merry" for any other purpose. Aside from "Merry Christmas," the word has practically disappeared from the language.

In Britain, my impression is that "Happy Christmas" used to be more common, but I see and hear "merry" quite a bit too. (Like on the sign above.)

Anyway, it's all a mystery.

This morning, Dave and I are up early to start cooking. We have guests coming -- my high school friend Kevin and his husband Brent, who are visiting from the states, and Kevin's friend Michelle and her husband Rob, who live here. A full house!

Yesterday Olga and I took a walk up to the Clitterhouse Playing Fields, which were pretty much deserted on Christmas Eve afternoon. I did see one guy wearing a Santa hat and walking a staffy of his own. "Relatives!" I said as I walked past with Olga. He smiled but I'm not sure he knew what I was getting at.

Last night I subjected Dave to a series of vintage Rankin/Bass Christmas TV specials, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman" and "The Little Drummer Boy." I bet I haven't seen that last one since I was a kid. They were tedious and entertaining and embarrassing all at the same time.  "Rudolph," especially, is quite insistent on reinforcing traditional gender roles -- but it was made in 1964, so I guess I can't expect too much. At least it celebrated individuality and nonconformity, within certain comfortable boundaries.

Anyway, it seemed like the kind of television we ought to be watching on Christmas Eve.

(Top photo: Homemade Christmas decorations in a local front garden. I think that snowman's nose lights up -- he's like a Rudolph/Frosty hybrid!)


  1. Happy Christmas, have fun and Hello to Kevin Wood.

  2. Happy Christmas to both of you🎄🎄🎄 Joanne

  3. Yes, I've wondered about the whole Merry vd Happy thing,too. When did the departure occur?
    How wonderful for your friends to have Christmas with you - they'll remember this year I'm sure. Merry and Happy to you, too!

  4. Any post with Olga in is good enough for me, lol
    Enjoy your day.

  5. Clitterhouse Playingfields? Tee-hee-hee! Clitterhouse? Surely you have made that name up or picked it up from a "Carry On" film! I hope the Christmas meal goes well. I guess Dave will be doing most of the cooking while you entertain your guests with magic tricks.

  6. Happy Christmas to you too. that is strange about 'merry'. did Dave like his gifts?

  7. I've always wondered about Merry Christmas and Happy Christmas. It looks like you've given yourself a topic for another post.

  8. Wishing you, Dave, and Olga the merriest of Happy Christmas!

  9. Happy Christmas Steve! I hope your dinner party goes very well. I'm off to my friend Julie's house where a bunch of us are going to help prepare a Christmas dinner. (She has a huge kitchen so group cooking works well.)
    I heard a story on NPR a week or so ago about how someone might have gotten the idea for Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. It seems that some reindeer do get red noses caused by a sort of infection. I won't go into the details.

  10. I've been reading about the movie "Die Hard" and people saying they watch it on Christmas. I had to ask the BRD last night because it's been so many years since I saw it. Apparently it takes place on Christmas so has become a tradition for some folks.

  11. Have a festive, merry, happy Christmas dinner with your friends, Steve! And all good wishes to you and Dave. Much love from me.

  12. A very Happy Christmas to you, Dave and Olga. Have a great day celebrating with your friends.