December can be one big build-up to merry, which may be why merry-go-round exhaustion sets in. Some of us find merry easy, others a cynical effort. Frank and Bing sing ‘have yourself a merry little Christmas’, so laid-back it falls off the sofa. Merry had become a cliché for crooners. Scripture moves us to value merriment. Eating, drinking and making merry are never judged. The Renaissance English understood merry to be from the heart. ‘Let thine heart be merry’, exhorts Kings. ‘A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance’, Proverbs assures. Merry always implies its root meaning: good reason for mirth.