A Facebook poll asks if you prefer “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” I’m guessing “Merry Christmas” is perceived by some as more “spiritual” than “Happy Holidays.” Hmmm. Let’s see.
A “Mass” is a liturgical service of the Eucharist, presumably at a Catholic church, and a “Christ mass” is such a service held at midnight on the eve of Dec. 25, traditionally the birthday of Jesus (although there is no historical basis for Dec. 25).
A “Holiday” is a “Holy Day,” a day to cease from work and worship God.
So, if you’re headed to St. Greg’s for midnight mass, “Merry Christmas.” If you’re spending the day worshiping God, “Happy Holiday.” And if you’re spending the day doing nothing more than exchanging gifts and eating food, “Happy Festivus.”