Around this time of year, Protestants and many Catholics make a big deal about secularists refusing to say “Merry Christmas.” Since it’s not Christmas yet, I don’t have a problem with anyone wishing me “Merry Christmas” during Advent. If I’m actually Christmas gift or decoration shopping, I’ll say, “Have a Merry Christmas” (future tense), and if I’m at an anticipatory party, I’ll say it. Otherwise, I refrain from wishing anyone a “Merry Christmas” until the day of and after.
I love going shopping on Boxing Day and saying, “Merry Christmas!!” People grumble, “Christmas is over.” I say, “No, it’s not! It just started! We have two more weeks of it!!”
If you want to be a really hardcore Catholic, go around wishing people “Merry Christmas” on Jan. 3.