I know I'm courting controversy opening up this topic, but I think that it's worth having a discussion about. "Happy holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas".

Full disclosure first - I am half Catholic and half Jewish, so I grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah.

I do understand, and agree, when people take offense when bureaucrats try to put a stop to our right to say "Merry Christmas". Whether it's a rule at school, an office, or a public place, I absolutely agree that none of us should be banned from a particular saying.

But, that being said, I think it's a little ethnocentric to expect everyone to say "Merry Christmas" and, not just that, but to be actually offended if someone wishes "Happy Holidays".

The root of this debate goes back to the First Amendment, freedom of speech, being able to use whatever language we choose. But, over time, it's kind of morphed into more than that - the thought that there's something wrong with those who choose to wish "Happy Holidays".

Personally, I choose to wish people "Happy Holidays".

Here's why - having grown up in a multi-religion household, I recognize that not every American celebrates Christmas. And there's nothing wrong with that. As we all know, there's a sizable Jewish population in Ocean County.

I prefer to give people my best wishes for the holiday season as a whole, regardless of which holiday they celebrate.

I honestly don't understand why someone would be offended if another wishes them "Happy Holidays". It's not an insult. In fact it's just the opposite - a kind wish of good tidings.

I don't think that any of the phrases should be banned. There's nothing wrong with "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Happy Hanukkah", etc. That being said, I think it's unfair to take offense when all someone is doing is wanting to pass on their good wishes to another.

What do you think? Join in the debate in the comments!