Happy Holidays” is a pretty simple grammatical construction, as are “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy New Year” and various other celebratory sayings. But we use “Many Happy Returns” without, at least in my case, understanding what it means.
I’m a weirdo who’s lived way too long for my meager abilities and accomplishments, but my 39th birthday (being celebrating for something like the 39th time) arrives this Sunday, on Christmas Eve. Now I follow astrology, numerology, Buddhism, Friedrich Nietzsche, the Akashic Records, The Lotus Sutra and Tao te Ching (The Way) as guides to my life and basically the meaning of existence.
So today when my birthday numerology report arrived, I was pleased to learn what “Many Happy Returns” means. As it turns out, on each of our birthdays, the sun returns to the exact position it was in when we were born. Thus “Many Happy Returns” — may the sun bless you for many times in the future.
There you go. Who woulda thunk it?
PS Can anyone explained why do’s has an apostrophe before the s but don’ts doesn’t?