These days there are loads of wishes flying around:
“Season’s Greetings” – “Have a great holiday” – “Happy New Year” (mostly in combination with one of the others) …
And of course: “Merry Christmas”
Although, I have to say, the last one is getting a bit under pressure. Of course, in our global society, one cannot always be sure if wishing “Merry Christmas” is appropriate, as your counterpart could have another religious or cultural background. And of course the last thing you want to do is to offend them – you want to wish them something nice. So … what do you do?
“Season’s Greetings” – I find these a bit wishy-washy (no offence meant). It does not really have any content, apart from the at least well-meant intention of wishing someone well, and specifically in December (although there is really no reason why “Season’s Greetings” could not mean a nice summer holiday…)
“Have a great holiday” – works if you know the other person actually has some extra free days, but is not very specific.
“Happy New Year” – great wish, but really only applicable next week 😉
So in the end I mostly still do say “Merry Christmas”. But what do I really mean with it? For me, “Christmas” does not necessarily mean the specific Christian celebration – although I do call myself a Christian (not a regular church-going though). For me, “Merry Christmas” is the short version of a mixture of feelings I get these days.
I guess, what I really want to say is: “I wish you to be surrounded by love and peace, filled with hope. I wish that you can always see a light in the darkness, that you even can be that light yourself.”
That’s my Christmas spirit. Even, no: especially in times like this. But it is a little bit long to say, so I just stick to “Merry Christmas.”
So, to all of you out there, no matter if you are religious or not (and absolutely no matter what type of religion that might be):
Merry Christmas (substitute with long version, if so desire)