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Poll: Americans Prefer 'Merry Christmas'

6 years ago
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Rasmussen Reports released a poll today on Americans' attitudes towards holiday greetings in stores. Poll respondents were asked to choose between the traditional "Merry Christmas" greeting and the more modern "Happy Holidays." Sixty-seven percent of respondents preferred to be wished a "Merry Christmas," versus 26% who preferred "Happy Holidays," nearly a three to one margin.

Americans of almost every subset in the poll preferred the traditional Christmas greeting by large margins and with very little variation. Men favored it 69-24%, women 65-27%. Married people favored it 69-24%, unmarried 64-29%. All age groups gave "Merry Christmas" over 60% support and all but the lowest income group did as well; with the three middle income groups giving it over 70%.

The only groups within which significant variation was seen were political identity and race. Republicans favored "Merry Christmas" by 88-10% while their Democratic counterparts favored it less enthusiastically, 57-36%. Third party supporters tracked with Democrats, giving the greeting 57-31% support. Whites were more likely to prefer the greeting than blacks by 72-50%.

The poll also asked respondents whether they planned to attend a Christian church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Overall, 57% of respondents did with senior citizens (66%), women (65%), blacks (63%), and married people (61%), planning to attend church in the highest percentages. Men were the only subset not planning to attend church services in the majority. Still, 49% of men did say that they would attend.

The results will most certainly be trumpeted by various "take back the holidays" movements that seek to buck recent politically correct trends. Several of these groups sell buttons for shoppers to wear with phrases like "It's okay to wish me a Merry Christmas." and "Just Say Merry Christmas!" printed on them.

However, last Christmas season parent companies representing twelve of the nation's top 20 retailers responded to requests for clarification on their official policies regarding seasonal greetings that employees are allowed or encouraged to use in their stores. Most said that "Merry Christmas" was allowed and in some cases encouraged to be used as a seasonal greeting. At the same time most of the retailers sought to point out that they respected the broad diversity of their customer base and welcomed shoppers of all faiths and traditions. These results, while unscientific, tend to belie the belief that there is an organized effort to remove traditional expressions of Christmas from the shopping season.
Filed Under: Religion, Polls

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18 Comments

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cutzypie

It is Merry Chritmas! Christmas is the reson for the season and it should not be changed, We say Happy Hanukah for the Jewissh holiday , Happy Kwanza and Happy Id. We welcome any one who wants to celebrate theseason of the birth of Our Lord whose principals are the basis f this fine country. I have stopped shopping in sotes unless they say Merry Christmas.The stores would not survive if it wasnt for Chrismtas and its traditions. But out with your bureacreacy. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 29 2010 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marvin

IS IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE "MERRY CHRISTMAS". I say this because most people that live in a free WORLD belives this to be TRUE. G0D BLESS AMERICA AND HER PEOPLE. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO THE WHOLE WORLD. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND HER PEOPLE.

December 19 2010 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug

I had a buddhist who owned a convenient store wished me a Merry Christmas. The reason why retail business, the auto industry and news agencies are saying happy holidays is because they are paranoid.

December 19 2010 at 5:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jelun

Traditional Xmas greeting?
LOL, we have been using Happy Holidays for decades at least. Holiday is a derivative of holy day.
Some like to say it is about PC run amuck. I tend to think that it is about ignorance run amuck, if people had any knowledge of language they would not be quite so quick to be offended.
Personally, I am just happy to be acknowledged when I enter a store, I don't care what they say.

December 19 2010 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fred

Happy Holidays, don't sound right.It will still be Merry Christmas for-ever for me.

December 19 2010 at 4:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

it's CHRISTMAS...the day of our Lord's birth...CHRISTMAS!!

December 19 2010 at 4:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
swampangel51

It is MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!

December 19 2010 at 3:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jedinyte79

I say Happy Holidays because there are several celebrations and traditions all around the same point of time. Jesus was not born on the 25th of December. In the Mithraism religion the God Mithra was born on December 25th. For Pagan religion they celebrate the Winter Solstice on the 21st of December. Jewish people celebrate Hanukah. There are people who also celebrate Kwanzaa. The list goes on. All of these beliefs and practices are Holy Days. My belief is Deism. I celebrate life and happiness with my family and friends on December 25. I give gifts to show love,appreciation and thankfulness.

December 19 2010 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Before you get too defensive; this isn't even when Jesus was born. This is just when the early Roman church decided to celebrate it along with their traditional winter solstice celebration. (The census in Bethlehem was sometime in September.)

December 19 2010 at 3:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scott's comment
Lisa

true, but we've grown up with this and no one is going to be the one to change things, right? lol

December 19 2010 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
esword2020

its merry christmas period

December 19 2010 at 3:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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