Some Jews actually get pissed when you wish them a Merry Christmas (idea)
|Frankly, being Jewish by birth, I *do* find it offensive when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. I'm usually just utter a "Happy Chanukah" in return, utterly confusing whomever addressed me. But there are some who don't take it as well as I do, and they're more than justified for it.|
Here you have a holiday in Christmas so mainstream that it's almost thought of as a secular holiday, as the above writeup suggests. The problem is, whatever Hallmark would have you believe about it, it is not a secular holiday. Spreading a little holiday spirit? No. You're spreading a little Christian spirit.
Most Jews would never wish a gentile a Happy Chanukah, and for good reason--it just wouldn't make any sense to do so, seeing how they don't celebrate that particular holiday. Most Christians, on the other hand (label this as a generalization if you must, but it's the truth), don't even think about whether the person they're about to wish a Merry Christmas to celebrates that particular holiday. Therein lies the contradiction. The majority's right to homogenize, I suppose.
And if you walked around getting wished a Happy Chanukah as much as we walk around getting wished a Merry Christmas, seeing Chanukah commercials on television as much as we see Christmas commercials, watching Chanukah movies as much as we see Christmas movies, and listening to Chanukah songs on the radio as much as we hear Christmas songs, I suspect you'd start to get more than a little upset too.
Not to sound like an advocate for political correctness or anything, but if you're not sure of a person's religion, simply say Happy Holidays. It solves a great many problems.