It's the holiday season and these days that brings with it the conservative pundit led War On Happy Holidays. This war should not be waged and results primarily in making conservatives look stupid.
Happy Holidays complements the season just fine for four reasons - the history of Happy Holidays, the history of Christmas, the plethora of holidays, and love for all mankind.
First. Happy Holidays is not some new phrase created by nefarious Atheists to replace and diminish Christmas. As early as 1863 Americans have greeted each other with the phrase (Aldrich shows some history).
Second. Modern Christmas results from the conglomeration of many festivities from different faiths. So Christmas itself is multiple holidays all rolled into one. When one wishes another Merry Christmas, they are already wishing someone to happily enjoy the many holidays that we today celebrate as one holiday - Christmas.
The plethora of Christian festivities almost all have unchristian origins. From lights, to trees, to gift giving, to candles, to caroling, to merriment in general! The Christians of the Roman Empire had to compromise in order to successfully convert all these pagan celebrations into nice Christian ones. Christians accepted the jollity in exchange for it pertaining to the birth of Christ.
In time, people forgot about the original meaning of these activities and saw it all as celebration for Christmas. Rather than gorging in gluttony, lust, and ultimately murder like the Romans did during their December holiday of Saturnalia, we simply sing carols, make pretty lights, and exchange gifts. Rather than bringing in a tree and worshiping it, we view the tree as a pretty decoration. Rather than celebrating and praying for the rebirth of the sun, we celebrate the birth of the son (holidays.net; Christmas History before Christ; Origins Christmas Customs).
Third. December consists of many holidays! For some, the use of Happy Holidays is simply a more efficient way of saying Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For others, the phrase is meant to include the minority celebrations like Hanukah and Kwanza.
Christmas is really only on December 25th. At most, December 25th and the evening of December 24th. Christmas is quite unique in that it feels unawkward to say Merry Christmas when it is not Christmas! Saying Happy Holidays during the holiday season makes more sense.
Fourth. Why would anyone want to disparage those who use "holiday" in order to be more inclusive? Some don't celebrate Christmas and even may see taking part in such as celebration a rejection of their own religion. Jesus Christ preached a message about love for all mankind. If some want to show empathy for the sensitivities of certain minorities by using a more general word, great!
Despite the "Christ" in Christmas, modern and ancient Christmas festivities have little to do with the birth of Jesus, so complaining about which word we use makes no sense.
For those who wish to celebrate the true Christian meaning of Christmas. The focus should not be on Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. But on educating society about what the birth of Jesus means to us all. Festivities are for secular fun, understanding and worshiping Jesus is for religion.
All of this said, calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree sounds incredibly stupid. But to those European tree worshipers, calling their holy tree a Christmas tree when the tree has nothing to do with the birth of Christ, probably sounded even more ridiculous!
These arguments are not made to diminish the use of Merry Christmas, but to discourage the hate on Happy Holidays. Let us all have a Merry Christmas!