I don’t remember when the “war on Christmas” started, or exactly when “Merry Christmas” was replaced by a lot of people with “Happy Holidays”. But it seems like it was in the 80’s. I was just out of high school then. I didn’t pay much attention to the news at that time (hey, I was still a teenager lol). At the time, I thought “Happy Holidays” was just a way to wish everyone Happy Holidays to encompass Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all in one greeting. Happy Holidays = Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New year. See? Shorter! LOL
It was much later that I realized that people were saying Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings instead of Merry Christmas. Anyway, it never really bothered me all that much. Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, joyeux Noël – it doesn’t matter how you celebrate it or say it. I always thought we were all still on the same page.
I still say “Merry Christmas” unless I have reason to believe that the person I’m talking to celebrates a different holiday. To me, all holidays are legitimate and no single holiday has greater legitimacy than another – they are, after all, all man-made – but it’s a fact that there are more people celebrating Christmas than Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, etc. – so if you say “Merry Christmas”, the odds are good that you won’t offend anyone.
Maybe we should all don buttons at this time of year – a Christmas tree for the secular version of Christmas, a Star of Bethlehem for the religious version, a sunburst for Yule, a menorah for Hanukkah, a kinara for Kwanzaa – so people know the appropriate greeting to use…? Just sayin’….