Saying “Merry Christmas” is right and proper to do. It is right to do for the sake of honoring and exhorting everyone’s ability to practice our shared natural rights of religion and speech. When used properly, it is used in an amiable and cheerful spirit as a greeting during this time of year. “Merry Christmas” is not meant to offend anyone and the speaker also has the prerogative to withhold the phrase if they truly feel as though they would offend someone. However, I cannot imagine why anyone would be offended at either 1) me practicing my right of free speech or religion OR 2) Me celebrating a National Holiday that is celebrated by 90% of the country. I am certainly not withholding their rights to not participate.
Don’t say it if you don’t want to. Say it if you want to say it. Just realize that if you decide to use the phrase “Merry Christmas”- that it is completely right to do so. Don’t feel guilty for expressing your joy of the season and trying to spread that joy to your fellow community member. If we remove this tradition, then someday the phrase might not ever be heard again, except in the privacy of our own home. This is not what community is about. This is also not how we should live- in fear of offending someone. We should strive to keep the private and public square full of rich shared traditions, both secular and religious. Indeed, Christmas can be celebrated by both the religious and the non-religious.
The effort to remove “merry Christmas” from our vocabulary has been successful so far. Part of its success can be attributed to the fact that we barely realize it is happening. This effort also has an end goal of removing all meaningful religious phraseology and expression from public use. Thereby creating a completely religion-free and non-offensive society at the same time. The question should be asked: What type of a world do we want to live in and what type of world do we want our children to grow up in?