Kellemes Karácsonyi Ünnepeket!
It is true that "Boldog Karácsonyt!" would be a fair translation. Although the closest translation of the word "merry" would be "vidám".
But I think here we are dealing with an idiom which should be always quoted as the cultural / language equivalent.
I wouldn't write on a card in Hungary "Boldog Karácsonyt!" Neither would I wish a "Vidám Karácsonyt!" There is a vast difference between the ways of celebrating Christmas in the Anglo-Saxon part of the world compared to the way it is celebrated in the more Catholic areas. In the Anglo-Saxon world Christmas is indeed a merry, noisy celebration with dancing and music, and getting tipsy, while on New Year's Eve people tend to stick with the family and have a quiet evening at home. Well, in Hungary (and in the neighbouring countries) we celebrate just the other way round. Christmas Eve is typically a family gathering occasion around the christmas tree, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the time of prayer for the religious and the time for everyone to remember friends and family who cannot be present (either far away or deceased) and it is the time of giving tokens of love -gifts - to each other and especially to children. Christmas in Hungary is meant to be indeed pleasant and cosy and that's why I wish to you "Kellemes Karácsonyi Ünnepeket!" The word "kellemes" literally translated into English means "cosy" or "pleasant" Christmas Holidays - which probably you wouldn't write in an English card instead of "Merry Christmas", would you? Sometimes the more religious ones also write "Áldott (és Békés) Karácsonyi Ünnepeket". The word "Boldog" is reserved in this particular case for wishing a Happy New Year that is "Boldog Új Évet". And on New Year's Eve - I can promise - we shall behave exactly the way the Anglo-Saxons behave on Christmas Eve.
Local time: 02:46
Native speaker of: Hungarian
PRO pts in pair: 91