If anyone is "offended" by the latter greeting, it's more likely that they are offended by the presumption that everyone celebrates Christmas or perhaps the presumption that the state has the authority to single out Christmas for special recognition. Admitting this would be difficult for Christian Nationalists because it would undermine their self-righteous rage.
I am curious as to how many of the atheists and agnostics here are offended by the use of "Merry Christmas" as a greeting or display, as opposed to "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays." My thinking is that it really is of no consequence to me how the name of the holiday is derived, it is in the United States and many countries the name of a holiday which many people, including me, enjoy for secular reasons.
Actually, I don't see why "Happy Hanukkah" or any other expression of good will is offensive -- it's the thought that counts. The reason given for suppressing "Merry Christmas" is that it is offensive to some. Do many atheists find it offensive?
I personally use "Happy Holidays" because it's a sign of respect to strangers -- I can't know for sure what holiday or holidays they celebrate, so why be presumptuous by only wishing them well on one which they may not care about? When someone says "Merry Christmas," however, I'm not personally offended. I might notice that they don't seem to care what holiday I may or may not celebrate, but then again I might not.
What do you say and what do yo think about the choices? Add your thoughts to the comments here or join the ongoing discussion in the forum.