At this jovial, neighborly time of year, I still greet others with "Merry Christmas" rather than the more socially acceptable "Happy Holidays."
Such behavior has nothing to do with stubborn traditionalism. I just believe merriness to be easier for my fellows to attain than happiness. After all, one can enter a state of merriment, if only temporarily, by the simple act of drinking several pints of rum-enriched egg nog.
Happiness, however, as ever, is far more elusive. So why bother wishing someone "Happy Holidays" when it is extremely improbable they will experience such unmitigated rapture during the festive period? The sentiment rings a trifle hollow, don't you think?
"Merry Christmas," on the other hand, is both exact saluation and hedonistic authorisation: get drunk on December 25th, it exclaims, because you can and no-one should either mind or care.