Last year, around this time, friends and acquaintances offered me all sorts of religiously neutral salutations: Seasons Greetings! Happy Holidays! Joyeuses fêtes! Meilleurs vœux! Only two people wished me Merry Christmas.There's more—Frost relates the War On Christmas to the war against the Historic American Nation. Read the whole thing.
One was Muslim, the other was Jewish.
They meant well. After all, isn’t that the culturally correct greeting? In theory, yes. In practice, most Christians feel uncomfortable affirming their identity. And this self-abnegation gets worse the closer you are to the cultural core of Anglo-America. Immigrants of Christian background enjoy being wished Merry Christmas. Black people likewise. Catholics seem to split half and half, depending on how traditional or nominal they are.
But the WASPs. Oh, the WASPs! With them, those two words are a faux pas. The response is usually polite but firm: “And a very happy holiday season to you!”
Things weren’t always that way.[Wishing You a Merry...Something, December 20, 2014]