typically i say "merry christmas," unless i know the person does not celebrate christmas (then i say happy holidays). also, i have a christmas tree in my store, not a holiday tree. i have all types of people come into my store from all different religions and back grounds, usually they tell ME "merry christmas" before i even get to say anything to them. people around me are typically very friendly and tolerant of eachother (yes, there are some friendly areas in NJ). saying "merry christmas" to a non-christian, or "happy hanukkah" to a non-jewish person is never greeted with hostility or a lecture. usually you get a "thank you. same to you," and a smile in return. this is how i (and many people i know see it)... just because i am not jewish, does that mean that i shouldn't have a happy hanukka? it is not like i fall off the face of the earth for 8 days. should a jewish or muslim person not have a merry christmas? several of the sales reps that visit my business are jewish, some of them actually celebrate christmas. they don't celebrate the birth of jesus and all of the religious crap, but they do put up lights and a tree, and they usually have dinner with family too.
yeah i agree that its a safe way to go when you are dealing with all sorts of different, with as in your case, sales. But what i really don't get is how blown up it becomes because 1 person out of a thousand can cry and yell so much cause the town tree says Merry Christmas instead of happy holidays.
It reminds me of how extreme people are willing to go, just to cry and yell cause everything now days have to be politically correct. Some times i wish we were in the time from when Disney released "Dumbo". Can you imagine people today if that film were to just come out? I read an article not too long ago about an athiest that was screaming and yelling about his son saying the Pledge of Allegiance because of the "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" and how he vowed to take his son out of school. It made me want to ask him if he was going to never tuch a dollar, or spend money again because it has "In God We Trust" on it.
I digress, there are just some people out there that will try their hardest to be the squeaky wheel, and it really makes times like this saddening really, cause instead of enjoying the Christmas spirit, and Santa and all that, most have turned into Bah Humbugs just to get a rise out of people because now days, anyone can cry foul, and have things changed just because they can. Christmas has really changed since i was a kid, and I'm not even 30 yet.
Merry Christmas y'all
"And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun"