"Candide" says what I've been thinking: Merry Christmas All / Pierre Tristam [Candide's Notebooks].
I remember that Christians and Muslims mutually wished each other Merry Christmas and Eid Mubarak as each occasion came in turn, never worrying about the kind of trashy disclaimers that attach to so many of our greetings these days (“in case you celebrate Christmas”) or the even worse detergent-water greetings that now dull so much of the season’s colors (“Happy Holidays”).
The vapidity of “Happy Holidays” misses the very point of the greeting: we wish each other Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Eid Mubarak not because we’re necessarily Christian or Jewish or Muslim, but even more so because we may be none of those things, and because others are: the wish primarily celebrates the other person, and only secondarily, if at all, the religion itself. It celebrates our mutual basking in the spirit of the season, whatever its religious stripe. It celebrates our willingness to share a planet, to love the pluralism of it all.
The less Christian I am, the more I welcome Christmas wishes—or wishes of any hue. It would be supremely stupid of me, as a one-time Catholic, to be offended if a Muslim wished me Eid Mubarak, or a devout Christian wished me merry Christmas, or a Jew, even one who spent part of his conscripted years occupying south Lebanon, wished me happy Hanukah
I grew up determinedly secular and non-believing and am becoming more Christian rather than less as I move through life. However I would never feel insulted if someone wished me Eid Mubarak or Happy New Year on Rosh Hashanah. In fact I am always pleased to be included.
This year I sent out cards that said Merry Christmas because that's how I feel about it, it's my tradition, and that's what I say.
I think the whole "Happy Holidays" custom is driven by a desire not to offend the easily offended - atheists who don't want to be Merry Christmased, folk of other religions who might feel touchy about being in the minority. Here in the Free Republic of Berkeley-Oaklandistan, where the churches are empty and the cafes and restaurants are full, being a person of any faith makes you in the minority. Perhaps I'm saying Merry Christmas more just out of pure rebelliousness (wouldn't be the first time). In any case ...
Christmas is drawing to a close and I wish all the peace of the season. Merry Christmas - and have a Happy New Year!