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I use it since I was little, in a very Christian nation, without specific reasons. Christmas is just a single day - which can be hectic and fairly bad, given that often you meet member of the family for which there are very real reasons you never meet the rest of the year. Holidays on the other hand last usually more, at the very least the day after and usually the entire week if not the two weeks from 25 December to 6 January (Epiphany, it's a national holiday).
So if I want to wish a good "whole period of vacations" instead of a "happy single day that probably you will hate nonetheless" I say "Happy Holidays".
Also, Holidays <= "Holy Days" so there is really nothing non religious in the word itself. "Happy vacations" would be the correct religion-free salute.
If you're white in Singapore [doesn't matter how long you've been there even with people you known for a long time] they ask, "are you going home for Christmas?"
My reply, "yes, I go home every night."
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It's really a matter of being polite. Considerate. Having what one might call the "Holiday Spirit" and thinking of other people and their feelings.
I can't speak for the UK, but in the US, the christian religious fanatics have mobilized and call the use of Happy Holidays as a "War on Xmas". They make a big deal of it and even try to organize boycotts against those businesses who wish ALL of their customers good will.
These self-styled protectors of their faith think that it's their right, privilege, and duty to foist their beliefs upon everyone else . . . then vote to take away their medical care.*
*I suppose, if they die, it will save them a stamp?
That is one of many ways people are trying to take Christ out of Christmas. It is the attempt to remove Christ from Christmas
I couldn't have proved my view more clearly than you just did with your sentence.
It's a rather religious statement . . . or it's not. Make up you mind.
(Or did you just parrot that statement without giving it a thought?)
As for many people who don't recognize that deity - one that is remarkably similar, "historically", to stories of Zeus mating with humans to create "super" offspring. Actually the who thing wreaks of polytheistic idol worship and, from your comment, fanaticism.
It's always good to declare yourself the winner - so long as you don't pay any attention to what's going on. I quite thoroughly answered your question - but since it take some thought to apply it's clearly beyond your capabilities. Stick to coding.
And as for the offense - put in the simplest of terms:
It comes from you (religious fanatics) who think everyone believes as you do.
and won't let anyone else be happy unless it's your way.
The real question:
Why is "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holiday" offensive to you? That's where the problem really lies. Those who are bitching about what they say on the TV news or what pictures Starbucks puts on their cup? They're the ones who's mental problems are probably beyond cure.
As the historical record shows, the self proclaimed "religion of love" primarily loves to torture and kill anyone who doesn't follow their demands. Maybe you should spend more time reading your holy books and less time trying to bash skulls with them.
That would be like me telling the Muslims I don't like the word Ramadan, and wish them to call it "happy fasting month". Insulting, yes. So, our holiday is called Christmas, whether you like it or not. and the best part is, you don't have to be a Christian to celebrate it...or not.
Attempting to wish someone a Merry Christmas without using the words "Merry Christmas" seems rather silly. If you have acknowledged Christmas then you obviously aren't offended by it, and I would assume that you are giving your sentiments to someone who is agreeable to receiving them.
Can we all stop being offended by everything, and just all accept that we are all different, and that it is these diffferences that make the world an interesting place.
"There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult." - C.A.R. Hoare
I don't really pay attention to what I say. I've likely said Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays (plural - Christmas and New Years), Gud Yule, and perhaps a few others which are unmentionable in polite company.
The 'War on Christmas' rants annoy me. Most of them don't know that the tree, the lights, the feast, were all pagan traditions to begin with and simply assimilated because it's easier to do that then stamp out an entire idea.
A policeman in Ystradgynlais stops a welshman in a car with a sheep in the front seat.
"What are you doing with that sheep?" He exclaimed, "You should take it to the zoo."
The following week, the same policeman sees the same welshman with the sheep again in the front seat, with both of them wearing sunglasses.
The policeman pulls him over.
"I thought you were going to take that sheep to the zoo!"
The welshman replied, "I did. We had such a good time we are going to the beach this weekend!"
Anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant Anonymous - The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine Winston Churchill, 1944 - I'd just like a chance to prove that money can't make me happy. Me, all the time