Is Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holiday Offensive?

A recent poll came out a few days ago, which took a look at whether people thought Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday were offensive:

 Interestingly, Christians are more likely to be okay with the use of “Happy Holidays” than the general population. Sixty percent of non-Christians supported the use of the term, compared to 62 percent of those who identified as Christian.

Additionally, 39 percent of respondents asserted that holiday-themed branding had no impact on their decision to shop at a particular store.

So yeah. I made a video about it. It saves on typing. *wink*

Do you find either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays offensive?

Spoiler alert: I think this falls under the ‘live and let live category’. Say either and I’m good with it.




  1. I recall receiving Christmas Cards at work and finding that the larger the company the more likely they were to not even mention Christmas. I must admit I have disdain for those who write things like ‘happy holidays’. If one is sending someone a card at Christmas then have the guts to acknowledge it is a Christmas greeting.

  2. Of course, all the crap is because of the etymology – Christ’s Mass.
    One can understand how some people might want to do away with every reminder -that this is really about celebrating the * $ 2nd most famous/ well-known human ever to walk the earth.
    Considering the story is fictional, just like the character, does it really matter?

    Furthermore, the average person is more interested in the sparkly tree, lights, pressies, turkey, and booze than worrying about a make-beleive kid getting born in a smelly, unhygienic cow shed.

    As most people are delightfully unaware that a nursery rhyme such as Ring a ring a roses is believed to be about the plague, and sing along merrily, there will come a time people will be unaware what Xmas is supposed to be about.
    I say supposed to be as it never really was and is merely a co-opted festival.

    * Pre-internet, Mohammed Ali was once considered the most famous, well-known person on the planet.

    $ Micky Mouse and the make beleive Jewish guy might be tied for 2nd place.

  3. As a grumpy friend of mine used to say, “Merry Christmas, dammit” and that ended that. Who could argue.
    Frankly it’s a big balloon over next to nothing. Say what you like.

    In a way it’s too coy for words. Much like cheery people who say to an old person obviously OLD, “and how many years young are YOU, dear?”

  4. If I “start” the greeting, I usually say, “Have a good holiday!” If they say their greeting first (Merry Christmas or otherwise), I often just respond with “You too!”

    It’s probably “stoopid,” but I do have an aversion to the usual greeting. Probably part of it is rebellion, but I like to think some of it is because I want to recognize all individuals.

    To each his own, I guess.

  5. I think Nan has a good point. I could care less if someone else initiates a MC greeting with me (or says happy holidays, or happy kwanzaa, or whatever). Many delivery people have wished me a merry xmas today and I simply smiled and said “thanks!” I certainly wasn’t offended by it.

    I as an atheist though, I’m NOT going to start or initiate a conversation with the words MC, as I don’t believe in christ. I’d rather say nothing at all, but if pressed in certain social situations I’ll usually go with “happy holidays.” If religious people have the right to say MC, then I have a right to not say it if I don’t believe in christ. This has nothing to do with me being offended by the words MC; me not saying it is simply how I express my non belief.

    • Personally, I’ll still say “Merry Christmas” to people – I’ll even initiate it – but I’ll also say other things, like happy holidays, hair Christmas, Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, etc. (Can be silly…) I’m pretty used to having holiday get togethers with family at Christmas, and the people I’m with generally don’t make a big deal out of the religious trappings, so I don’t feel a need to differentiate myself that way. Especially in light of how historically it’s a mish-mosh holiday that coopted other pagan celebrations… (From what I gather; haven’t looked into it in detail myself.) And so many people in the US celebrate it as just holiday family time.

      If people around me were making a big Christian deal out of it, I’d probably feel differently.

      Of course, I have no problem with you expressing your nonbelief that way, and I’m not saying you should change. Just adding my perspective, and sharing potential food for thought. 🙂

      Happy Saturnalia. 😉

  6. Thinking about greetings, the standard greeting where I live (Australia) is ‘how are you?. The standard response is ‘well thanks’. I have found to my cost that it is not a actual enquiry into one’s state of health, to treat it that way rather puts a damper on the conversation.

    I differ from Nan in that I find it easier just to go along with social norms, rather than fight them when they are illogical. But I have always been one of those meek and mild folk that don’t stir the pot.

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