I *will* say "Happy Holidays". 

Because I am disrespecting Christmas and Christians?
Absolutely and Resoundingly NO.  It is because I speak very deliberately and I use words and expressions thoughtfully and I choose to include all people I see in my good wishes.
When I say "Happy Holidays" I absolutely mean that I wish YOU and yours a very happy holiday of your choice.

Please, accept that certain parts of the media (Bill O'Reilly, for example) have created such fear of a "war on Christmas" that simply isn't there.  There is NO war on anything.  Only a desire to include all people and to spread well wishes to all. 
I can not know what your belief system is simply by looking at you.  And so I will always choose "being kind and respectful to all". 

I carry no attitude if you use "Merry Christmas" and I don't judge.  In your heart and with your words, do everything you can to *increase* the holiday spirit and values of LOVE and FAMILY and CELEBRATION.  Your religion of choice has much more "meaning" than that to you.  I'm happy for you.  Enjoy it and feel the warmth of it.  And know that people of other belief systems feel that exact same warmth and meaning in their beliefs.  That is why they believe it and practice it!

Fear less and love more!
And I do, most sincerely, wish you a Happy Holiday!

Visit my blog, Homeschool Atheist Momma.

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Comment by Stuart M Rees on December 13, 2012 at 12:28am

This is such a made up issue. For as long as I can remember the term “the Holidays” was interchangeable “Christmas time.” It never had anything to do with theism vs. atheism, it was just one of many ways of describing that season. But all of a sudden, according to believers, saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is just an example of how Atheists want to steal Christmas. This argument has nothing to do with preserving Christian identity and everything to do with indoctrinating Christmas loving kids into hating Atheists. Besides, didn’t the Christians steal Christmas from the Pagans first?

Comment by Ted Foureagles on December 11, 2012 at 10:24am

If a Christian wishes me a Merry Christmas, or a Jew Happy Hanukkah, or whatever, I take it as them wishing me well from their perspective, and see it as a good thing.  If they expect to be responded to in like kind, they can either take my hope that they enjoy a wonderful solstice as genuine goodwill or reject it as impinging on their belief.  That's nothing I can or wish to influence.


}}}}

Comment by TERESA NATHANSON on December 11, 2012 at 10:06am

Very-Very nice Karen! I agree CIEN POR CIENTO!!!

GRACIAS!!!

Comment by James Kz on December 11, 2012 at 8:17am

I do not wish Merry Christmas. As a Wiccan I used to respond with Joyous Yule, which usually got puzzled looks.

I do respond today with a suitable secular response: A happy holiday to you too, enjoy your holidays too, or sometimes just "thank you."

Our village used to display a wooden handmade nativity scene at the volunteer fire department, until someone stole the donkey (probably a disgruntled Republican). :) It no more puts up such a display, just the secular lights and symbols on the main drag through town.

There is a Nativity scene across the street from my house at the Lutheran Church. That is right and proper. It is their private property. Not even this atheist would bar their right to display it on their property.

Put it in the village park across the street and as a councilman I will object.

Comment by Loren Miller on December 11, 2012 at 7:53am

I STILL want to say, "Merry Uddyuffs," but it seems that no one remembers that episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show.

[sigh] And so it goes...

Comment by Future on December 11, 2012 at 7:50am

I once was told by a Christian that as an atheist, we shouldn't be referring to or wishing anyone "happy holidays", because the word holiday has the origin of "holy day".  I said "yes, words have origins - congratulations on your semantics achievement.  Now you need to figure out to communicate without using words having non-Christian origins."  Fact is, if atheists were to come up with an alternate word for holiday, we would be immediately accused of conducting a war on religion.

Comment by Dave Godfrey on December 11, 2012 at 7:22am

I'll stick with Merry Christmas. It's tradition, it's simpler and you don't get funny looks. It's also as harmless and as meaningless as saying 'Bless you' when somebody sneezes. Perhaps it makes me a hypocrite but, hey, there are worse crimes.


However, I totally totally agree with your choice.

Comment by Randall Smith on December 11, 2012 at 7:06am

Right on! There's absolutely no sense in "dissing" the holiday spirit or the believers in Santa and God. Live and let live. Happy Holidays to you. Merry Christmas, too!

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