As December 25th approaches, we've found ourselves saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone from our grocery store cashier to our family members. But have you ever stopped to wonder where the phrase "Merry Christmas" comes from? In a world where it's normal to say "Happy Easter" and "Happy Birthday," the "merry" in "Merry Christmas" is unique.
It has been discovered that the answer goes back to the connotation of the two words. "Happy" is an emotional condition, while "merry" is a behavior.
Furthermore, happy, which came from the word "hap," meaning luck or chance implies good-fortune. Meanwhile, "merry" implies a more active showing of happiness—which you might think of as merry-making.
While both words have evolved and changed meaning over time (yes—people did once say "Happy Christmas"), people stopped using "merry" as its own individual word during the 18th and 19th centuries. It stuck around in common phrases like "the more, the merrier," as well as in things like Christmas carols and stories, largely due to the influence of Charles Dickens. The Victorian Christmas went on to define many of today's holiday customs.
Of course, "Happy Christmas" hasn't faded completely—it's still widely used in England. This is believed to be because "happy" took on a higher class connotation than "merry," which was associated with the rowdiness of the lower classes. The royal family adopted "Happy Christmas" as their preferred greeting and others took note.
Meanwhile, "Merry Christmas" took on sentimental meaning in the U.S. —even hearing "merry" on its own now makes us think of December 25th.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
When you share small acts of kindness, you are giving back more than you might think. You spread cheer to someone else. You elevate your own mood. You inspire more giving. Giving can have a ripple effect. The recipient of your act of kindness benefits, and so do any witnesses. Oh, and you just may enjoy the feeling of giving so much that it turns into a giving spirit that lives on well past the holidays.
So here are some ideas:
1. Call a friend you haven’t talked to all year.
2. Spread good news about someone.
3. Collect cans of food and donate them to a food bank.
4. Gather up your old coats and donate them to Goodwill or a homeless shelter.
5. Pay for someone’s groceries behind you at the register or restaurant.
6. Run an errand for someone.
7. Buy books for strangers. Books can change lives.
8. Give an unexpected generous tip to make someone’s day.
9. Buy someone in your family a journal and inscribe it your best life lesson on the first page.
10. Bake some holiday cookies and share the sweet merriment with your neighbors.
11. Leave a note of cheer on someone’s windshield.
12. Sign up for a holiday 5K because the money goes to a good cause.
13. Donate possessions you no longer need to the Salvation Army.
14. Bring a box of toys to a children’s hospital.
15. Have a beautiful photo framed and send it as a gift to someone special.
16. Smile at a stranger.
17. Give a genuine compliment every day.
18. Bring treats to the office to share with coworkers.
19. Donate blood and save a life.
20. Bring some blankets, dog food or pet toys to the animal shelter.
21. Write a note or send an email of appreciation to someone who has positively impacted your life.
What are some of the special ways you give back during the holidays? Let’s add to this list. Share your act of kindness in the comments section below. Happy Holidays!
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Have you ever walked into a store the day after Halloween and felt like you flash-forwarded through time to mid-December? Ghost and skeleton decorations are instantly replaced with red and green foil, ribbons and bows, candy canes and Santa statues. Only days into November, Christmas commercials start airing on TV and some radio stations convert to all carols, all the time.
But what about Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is a time that’s rich in history and tradition and shouldn’t be forgotten or ignored. For example:
Did you know?
A newer tradition that’s grown in popularity is to serve a deep-fried turkey at the feast. Proponents say that it takes less cooking time and the meat is juicier (and, honestly, what doesn’t taste better deep-fried?). However, preparing a turkey this way can be a dangerous proposition since it requires vast amounts of hot oil, which can splash, spill over or combust and burst into flames. The NTF and Butterball are two resources to learn how to properly and safely deep-fry a turkey. The most important rules are to never leave the turkey unattended while cooking and to keep pets and children away from the deep-fryer.
In fact, it’s a good idea not to leave any food in the oven or on the stove top over an open flame unattended while preparing Thanksgiving dinner to reduce fire risks. Cooking-related fires happen more on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year, contributing to 75 percent of Thanksgiving fires compared to 46 percent of fires on other days, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Let’s face it, nobody wants to eat blackened, dry and crunchy turkey, and you definitely don’t want to call the fire department or file an insurance claim when you should be enjoying quality time with family and friends.
The greatest Thanksgiving tradition aside from gorging on delicious food is surrounding ourselves with the people we love and reflecting on all that we’re grateful for in our lives.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
1) Based on average automobile insurance expenditures.
Cecil Williams -