Dr. Herrick, my old Chem II teacher send this out today:
Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all;
Additionally, a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make Australia, North & South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe great, without regard to the race, creed, color, computer operating system, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.
(Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)
“Holiday”actually comes from the word “Holy Day”:
1. A consecrated day, a religious festival. Now usually written HOLY-DAY, q.v.
2a. A day on which ordinary occupations (of an individual or a community) are suspended; a day of exemption or cessation from work; a day of festivity, recreation, or amusement. (In early use not separable from 1.)
Thus, in everyone’s attempt to be religiously neutral, you are actually wishing me a Happy Holy Day.