Many Christians believe that Christmas is inherently religious and Christian, which means that it cannot be celebrated in a secular or otherwise non-Christian manner. This is easily refuted by pointing to all the ways in which people celebrate Christmas without any references to Christianity or religion on any level. Few Christians, in fact, celebrate Christmas in an exclusively religious manner. More and more, people just don't care about the Christian elements anymore.
Laughing Santa, 1935
Andrew Newborn writes:
Just as Halloween was usurped from Pagans and turned into a fun holiday with virtually no religious connotations, so too can Christmas be converted. The secular pieces are already there: Santa Claus, gift exchanges, food-gorging, decorated pine trees, singing and gaudy ornaments are already integral Yuletide traditions. Just make sure to put something other than an angel or a star on top of your tree, sing "Frosty the Snowman" instead of "Oh Holy Night," and you've got yourself a secular Christmas.
There have been many cries that Christmas has become too commercial as well, and while I think the gifts are an important part of a secular Christmas, there's still room to celebrate family and togetherness.
These things are universal, and I see no reason to stop celebrating them just because I'm kicking Christ out of my Christmas. Even we heathens can appreciate peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, despite the religious origins of that phrase.
The process of Christmas secularization is already very far along and there is no sign of it turning back -- ever. This bothers some Christians, but they already appropriated many holidays from the ancient pagans, so they don't have a very strong basis for complaining when the same holidays are being appropriated by broader, secular cultures today.
Unlike the pagans, though, their religion isn't being banned and they are still perfectly free to observe Christmas in as religious of a manner as they would like -- they just don't get any support or encouragement from everyone else. If they actually need that encouragement, though, what does this say about their level of religious commitment?