Merry and Happy

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Festivus/break from work and I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I know I push Atheism a lot on my blog but I truly believe “the holiday season” is for everyone. Without the warmth of festive family gatherings, good food and presents to buffer the harsh arrival of winter I think the world would be a colder place. While the “Happy Birthday Jesus” and “Jesus is the reason for the season” crap does annoy the piss out of me, I can still appreciate a beautifully decorated Christmas tree just the same as anybody and I can enjoy the gift of giving without being reminded of the Nativity story ad nauseum.
So whether somebody chooses to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” makes no difference to me, all I hear is the “merry” or “happy,” to which I say thank you. How can I not appreciate somebody wanting me to be happy?