I couldn't decide how best to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Saying "Merry Christmas" is exclusionary since it doesn't include Chanukah (hanukkah for you heathens that can't spell correctly), Kwanzaa, the winter solstice (fondly referred to as Saturnalia by the Caesars among us), Ramadan and a large number of other religious and non-religious celebrations which take place at this time of year. More importantly, saying "Merry Christmas" legitimizes the Christians' theft of this time of year (as well as many of the Christmas traditions) from their pagan brethren.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized it's the Christians who are being exclusionary by demanding that we all celebrate Christmas. What they don't admit is that Christmas is not a religious holiday at all but was instead stolen from pagan religions by Christianity (driven by jealousy over the great food and abundance of adult beverages, I'm sure).
Ancient Babylonians believed the son of the queen of heaven was born around this time of the year.
Ancient Egyptians believed the god-man and savior Osiris died and was entombed around this time of year and that his death gave life to the son of Isis who was born around — you guessed it — December 25 (the feast of the Son of Isis was celebrated on December 25).
Ancient Greece celebrated Lenaea at this time of year (note that Lenaea is "The Festival of Wild Women").
Ancient Rome celebrated a myriad of holidays during this time of year which were eventually consolidated by Emperor Aurelian into the Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, or "Birthday of the Unconquered Son," which was celebrated on — here's a shock! — December 25 (note that this new holiday was a combination of celebrations of various saviors including Appolo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Mithra, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseus).
The winter solstice has been celebrated at this time of year since ancient days (including the Druids of Celtic origin who called it Alban Arthuan). The Druids and other pagans of Northern Europe celebrated Yule at the winter solstice (Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born).
Buddhists celebrate the Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) at this time of year which has its origins in 596 BCE (BCE means before the common era and is used in place of BC; CE, or common era, is used in place of AD; both are preferable to the AD & BC connotations as those are based solely on Christianity).
The Incans celebrated a festival called Inti Raymi at the time of the winter solstice.
Iranians have celebrated Shab-e Yaldaa since before Islam became the state religion (Zoroastrianism was the state religion before Islam and is the origin of Shab-e Yaldaa).
Judaism celebrates Chanukah at this time of year as a celebration of the Maccabees' retaking of the Temple in Jerusalem three years after it was conquered by Antiochus, the king of Syria.
Islam celebrates Ramadan around this time of year (although Ramadan is not tied to the winter solstice but is instead tied to the first sighting of the crescent moon; because it's lunar-based, Ramadan occurs approximately 11 days earlier each year).
Many Native American tribes celebrated diverse festivals in honor of the winter solstice (e.g., the Pueblo tribe observed both the summer and winter solstices and the Hopi tribe celebrated the Soyal during the winter solstice).
Shall I go on?
The idea of Christmas trees was actually taken from the Celtic Druids of Northern Europe who decorated a tree at this time of year to celebrate the winter solstice. The Puritans of early America actually banned Christmas trees because they were considered pagan (due to their origin).
Historians who believe that Jesus was a real man say that all records indicate he was born in autumn (around September). Christians originally celebrated his birth in spring but moved it to December to compete with the pagan holidays and celebrations taking place at that time.
Yule means "wheel" and was part of the ancient Druid celebrations because the wheel was a pagan symbol of the sun.
Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual.
Hollyberries were thought to be a food of the gods.
I could of course continue to draw out all of the Christmas traditions and beliefs and align them with their pagan counterparts which predate the Christian traditions by, in some cases, many millennia, but I think I've made my point.
The fact is that saying "Merry Christmas" is exclusionary and gives credence to a religious holiday which has its foundation in the theft of celebrations and traditions from many religious and non-religious groups which existed long before Christianity. The ranting and raving of Christians about the rest of us having to put up with "Merry Christmas" is laughable since none of them appear to have a clue about its origins.
Since the truth is inarguable, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season (regardless of which holiday, if any, that you celebrate). May the spirit of the season, not the false religious propaganda, be reason enough to celebrate.