Hi MyFist - been a while. Actually, here in Upstate NY, Christmas is treated as a 'season.' I get merry christmas-ed from the first week of December on through New Years day. I typically respond with "Happy Holidays." This was safe until about three years ago. Now, many times, when i respond, politely, and with genuine wish of happiness, I often get a nasty "It Christmas- stop attacking my faith; (or similar words.) This year I will respond with "happy Solstice," - or just pretend I didn't here them. *triple face palm*
Yes, politics and religion run amok. IMHO, simple greetings should never be used to promote political or religious ideologies. I myself am not religious but have no problem with people wishing me a merry Christmas, or happy Hanukkah, or whatever they wish if done politely. If people get updet with someone using happy holidays, that's their problem and intolerance.
BTW, I am not far from the north shore of Lake Ontario, we often drive to Pelee Point for some of the best bird watching in north america.
A lush Carolinian forest oasis at the southern tip of Canada, Point Pelee National Park resounds with migrating song birds in the spring, hums with cicadas in the summer, flutters with Monarch butterflies in the fall and is a peaceful place of reflection in the winter.