Merriam-Webster: 1. archaic : giving pleasure (delightful) 2. full of gaiety or high spirits (mirthful) 3. marked by festivity or gaiety 4. quick, brisk (a merry pace)
Macmillan: 1. British informal: slightly drunk 2. old-fashioned: happy and lively
American Heritage: 1. full of high-spirited gaiety; jolly 2. marked by or offering fun and gaiety; festive 3. archaic: delightful; entertaining 4. brisk
Collins English Dictionary 1. cheerful; jolly 2. very funny; hilarious 3. Brit. informal slightly drunk 4. archaic delightful
Farlex Trivia Dictionary "First meant 'peaceful' or 'pleasant,' which is what it first meant in "Merry Christmas."
"If you wish an end to commercialism, an end to the hectic feeling of not measuring up to a media-driven image of holiday perfection, an end to the pressure to believe (or do) something that doesn't fit (your brain, heart, family), the hope of an end to personal hardships (financial, medical, or emotional)…then that is what I wish for you."
When I wish someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday, I mean to include not exclude. In our culture here in southeast Ohio, this is a rather typical thing to say. I am also happy to say "Happy Kwanza" or "Happy Chanukah" or "Happy New Year," or "Have a good day." I am open to learning new ways to wish goodwill to others.
I would rather be thought old-fashioned by a person with a heart "two sizes too small" than hard-hearted by a person whose heart might be lonely, challenged, or breaking. I have nothing to prove at Christmas time and this is a wonderful thing. I am free to make this holiday what I need it to be, (without any "shoulds" internally or externally imposed) and to let my hope for this time of year evolve as I grow, drawing on the traditions and memories and "peaceful and pleasant" associations that have led me to appreciate this season. I can also set others to go all out with "high-spirited gaiety" or ignore the day altogether.
I suppose at the heart of what I wish for those I love and those I meet is that they will have what they need to create the December 25th -- and all that poor day seems burdened to hold -- that will do their heart and soul and spirt the most good.
Christmas Day is almost here. From our home to yours…Merry Christmas!