Merry’s ancestry includes the word murgijaz, a Proto-Germanic word meaning ‘short-lasting,’ and the Proto-Indo-European root mreghu- which simply meant ‘short.’ It is suggested that the connection to pleasure comes from the notion of ‘making time fly’ — that time feels short in a pleasurable state. So within merry, the ideas of enjoyment and evanescence find themselves inextricably linked. To wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas,’ in the very old sense, is to wish them pleasure and to express a hope that they’ll savor that pleasure acutely before it passes.
|—||From the always wonderful Aesthetics of Joy. A belated Merry Christmas, a premature Happy New Year, and a general Delightful Holidays to you all!|