Jeopardy!‘s Ken Jennings second guessed himself saying “Merry Christmas” today:
At the store this morning, I was appalled to feel deeply conflicted saying “Merry Christmas” to the cashier. I was suddenly seized by the suspicion that it’s starting to be impossible to wish someone merry Christmas without sounding like a good ideological soldier. I love Christmas–sometimes I say “merry Christmas.” Sometimes I say “happy holidays,” especially if I suspect the recipient is more likely to be celebrating Hanukkah or Ramadan. But I’m not going to say “merry Christmas” at all anymore if Bill O’Reilly and his fellow “War on Christmas” blowhards on Fox News are turning “Merry Christmas” into some coded “Screw you if you’re Jewish/agnostic/atheist/other!”
Ken also makes this suggestion:
If this idiocy continues, we’re going to need a new phrase every December, something that means, “Merry Christmas, including in the secular peace-on-earth-good-will-toward-men sense if that’s all you’re into and if the stupid Wiccans want to put dreamcatchers or whatever next to the nativity and the menorah in the park then that’s fine and I think it’s cynical to make Christmas-loyalty a battleground when you don’t really mean it anyway and it’s just a cynical ploy to rile up ratings in the red states.” Suggestions? I’ll make a T-shirt.
And I would wear it. As soon as someone comes up with a worthwhile idea.