That’s a good question. After all, how can someone get seriously upset when they’re wished “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”? It’s been ridiculous from the get-go. Well, Max Blumenthal has traced the meme back in an article on who started the War on Christmas, and you probably won’t be too surprised: it originated in racist kooks who blamed foreigners and Jews for all of the nation’s ills. Notice that when people talk about the War on Christmas, they rarely mention who’s waging it. It’s unspoken but understood on the far right that this is a war with Jews and immigrants.
This is clearly Orcinus territory. Dave Neiwert has often made the argument that right-wing radio and TV exists to mainstream the worst ideas of racist extremists, and that the war on Christmas can migrate from the racist founder of the odious VDare website to a daily rant on Bill O’Reilly’s cable show is a perfect example of the phenomenon.