Your suggestion makes perfect sense in my mind.  Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the central figure of the Christian religion (or more properly the Christian sect, since Christianity is actually an offshoot of Judaism), but the biblical accounts of the event do not suggest merriment.

In contrast, the new year is generally celebrated in the United States with lots of festivity, usually including massive consumption of alcohol.  Bartenders call it "amateur night", because their regular patrons tend to stay home in order to avoid the chaos caused by these less experienced sots.

So it makes sense to me that we should say "blessed Christmas" and "merry new year" (assuming that we are speaking of the night when the new year begins, rather than that the entire year be merry).

But I've learned these as set phrases.  We say "merry Christmas" and "happy [everything else]".

That being said, I wish you and yours all the blessings of the new year.



I resolved a long time ago not to make new year resolutions.  As it is written in the apocryphal Gospel of Mary:

Make no law unto yourselves ... lest ye be bound by it.

Settle debt?  I owe so much to so many.  The best I can do is to try to pay it forward.

Go on diet?  My body tells me what it needs.

Do more physical exercise?  That's been going on, but not in conjunction with the new year.

Get taller?  That would be nice, but it's not my decision to make.  Anyway, I'd need to buy a bunch of new clothes.

Learn a new language?  I'm still learning English!  I'm also still working on French, Latin, Spanish, Hebrew, Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, German, Thai, and a few others.  I've given up on Portuguese, and I'm truly embarrassed to say that the only Arabic I know is

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ

But I say it with all sincerity.  And I hope I've spelled it correctly.  It's supposed to be "as-salaam alaikum", or "peace be with you".

Thank you for your question, Terry, which brought up DocV's answer, one more of those replies of his which nicely combine historical and linguistic matters.

I must be one of the oldest members around (I'm speaking about age, not seniority!), and would like to seize the opportunity to share with you a unit from Developing Skills, one of the books by L. G. Alexander most of the people my age used to study from when we were young. This is the link: New Year Resolutions

I still find it fun to read. Below I've copied and pasted the text, just in case:

Once again, happy New Year to all of you!


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Gustavo. Instead of 11 minutes, one of my New Year resolutions is to run for at least 25 minutes a day; well, once in alternate day is not bad; maybe twice a week is still better than nothing, etc.  

Reason: I have to get a new identity card soon with a new photo!  


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