Eh. I don't think it *has* to be one or the other. Some people celebrate the Christian Christmas, some people celebrate the homage to capitalism-Christmas, some people celebrate Winter/Summer Solstice... and there are so many others I can't spell to list out. Seriously, if people just took a chill pill and got on with being cheery and friendly who cares what we call it?
I usually wait for someone else to say "merry Christmas" or whatever and then just say what they say in reply. The whole point is that it's a holiday where people try and be merry and optimistic - it's a celebration of something. Why should anyone insist that we all say the same thing? Seems overly... I don't know... tense and conformist to me. We're all different, what we need is more tolerance for those differences not forcing people to say one thing or another... I mean... why get offended because other folks celebrate a different holiday to me or you? *shrug* Eh.
I think I like Merry Christmas better. Not to be rude or "christian" but because "Happy holidays" could be any holiday. Like it could be the Easter and i could say "Happy holidays!" Sure, I'd get some strange looks but it would make perfect sense to me....Ah, ranting again. Sorry about that. People still need to be more accepting anyway though.
I always say "Happy Holidays" to people I don't know because I fear that they would say "...I don't believe in that." or something along those lines... (It happened to me once. >_<) But I prefer Merry Christmas... If I respect their differences and traditions they should respect mine. >.> XD /stops ranting/