Regarding Christmas and the greeting "Merry Christmas:"
At Christmas, we are dazzled by the shopping lights of the season. We tend to forget that Jesus Christ, the true light of the world, is present-closer to us than we are to ourselves. Wishing each other a "Merry Christmas" helps us to recall and stay fixed on our true joy.
The English word "merry" did not originally convey a sense of "jolly and mirthful" as is often assumed today. It meant something more along the lines of "blessed and peaceful"-a deep down inner joy rather than revelry.
One gets a sense of its original meaning in the well-known carol, "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." As can be seen from the comma, the word is not used to describe jolly gentlemen, but rather was a blessing from God invoked upon them-"God rest ye peacefully, gentlemen."
Thus, "Merry Christmas," when spoken to one another, is a blessing. Let us greet one another often with this blessing to strengthen our certainty that the Lord came among us and continually renews his consoling presence of love and joy.