I don't typically say "Merry Christmas." I'm not a practicing Christian and don't feel compelled to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Happy Holidays seems a little too politically correct, and has a connotation of chicken shit, so I avoid that too.
Festivus, I think, is almost appropriate, because who doesn't use time with family to air out their grievances and participate in the feats of strength...namely surviving time with the family.
Solstice, seems most appropriate for me. It's the shortest day of the year, both a beginning and an end. It reminds us that life is a cycle and that we often get multiple opportunities to get things right.
I think if I had a choice my winter holiday of choice would be called Soltice Share. It would be a celebration of everything that has been and everything that is before us. We would celebrate by giving the best of ourselves to those around us, and the whole point would be to contribute to the benefit of others so they can do the same in turn.
Yeah, that's what it would be.
But, alas it is not that yet. I will however concede that this year is different. Our rampant consumerism has finally caught up with us, and many seem reluctant to touch the hair of the dog this season as we collectively suffer the hangover. Shoppers seem to be going about their deeds without frenzy. I also noticed today, that there is a sense of good will going around. I repeatedly heard "excuse me," and "let me let you through," as I shopped today. In fact everywhere I went complete strangers engaged in friendly chit-chat as we waited in line. There was definitely a sense of relief, as though everyone was happy to shed the expectation of consumer gluttony.
"It's because we're all in the same boat." my husband said when I mentioned it to him. Funny how misfortune can bring out hints of compassion. It's as though we are finally ready to embrace who we are, as opposed to the commercialized over-hyped version of what we should be.
So what does one say to friends and neighbors during the winter celebratory season? How about "Comfort and Joy!" If it's good enough for the Merry Gentlemen, it's good enough for us all.