I will admit that I am one of those "Happy Holidays" people. And yes, it is mostly because I am not Christian. That said, there are other reasons and I thought I would take a moment to be one of the voices FOR "Happy Holidays".
Firstly, lets all acknowledge a few facts.
1. Not everyone on the planet, in your country, in your province and in your town is Christian.
2. This means some people actually celebrate something different than Jesus and God. Yes, they may even celebrate the Goddess (ahem).
3. These lovely people may even have their own holidays around their beliefs... that do not fall on the 25th of December. (Yule is on the 21st)
When you say "Merry Christmas", I would say the point is to wish that person something good and joyful and share in this spirit. Sure, it could be specifically, I hope you have a Merry Christmas where you will celebrate in all the traditional ways... including the birth of Christ, and if that is the case, in that your purpose is to pontificate, all the power to you.
I do understand that many parts of "Christmas" are cultural and not religious. As a family, Andrew and I are fairly comfortable with certain traditional accoutrements. Such as the tree (which is decidedly pagan in origins) and some admittedly selfish aspects such as my DIY advent calendar. I adore traditional Christmas music (ESPECIALLY religious choir arrangements). I am not "anti-Christmas".
I just wish when someone wishes me a Happy or Merry something, they would do so with a legitimately wishing that I celebrate my holidays in a joyful manner just like they celebrate theirs. That it not be about you, or YOUR beliefs, that it not be a selfish sharing of spirit.
When you say "Merry Christmas" to me you are:
- - ignoring that I may have different beliefs than you, or,
- - making it clear that you don't care that I may have different beliefs than you,
- - diminishing my religious and spiritual beliefs
- - sending a clear message that my beliefs and traditions are "lesser" than yours
- - closing the door to open and respectful communication.
So. When I see you, and I know you celebrate Christmas, I will tell you, with all the Joy and Spirit that I sincerely wish you a most Merry Christmas. And perhaps, when you see me, you will wish me a most Merry Yule.
And if we meet, and I don't know what you celebrate, I will wish you, from the innermost bits of my heart, a most Happy Holidays to allow you the space to share in my message in the way that speaks to your beliefs.