I get so tired of this every year, so I’ve been thinking about a good way to explain it.
Insisting on wishing everyone a ‘merry Christmas’ whether or not they celebrate it, and getting irritated or offended if they say ‘happy holidays’ is like wishing someone a happy birthday when it’s not their birthday and then getting upset with them for telling you it isn’t.
There are multiple winter holidays. And the modern celebration of Christmas owes a lot more to Pagan celebrations around this time that have a lengthy historical precedent to them. Please be understanding; being obnoxious only makes people look bad who really, genuinely want to have a merry Christmas and understand the reason for the holiday.
When I or anyone else says ‘happy holidays’, they’re being inclusive and considerate. It’s good to remember that, along with the message of hope, of light in the darkness of winter that almost all of these holidays have in common.