Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Religious Or Cultural Holiday ?

We are currently right in the middle of the most popular holiday season in the United States. But while more than 90% of Americans celebrate this holiday, they don't all celebrate it alike -- or even view it as the same kind of holiday. While many think this is a religious holiday, many others see it as simply a cultural holiday (with no religious overtones at all).

The good folks at the Pew Research Center decided to find out just how Americans view the holiday. They did a survey of 2,001 nationwide adults between December 3rd and 8th (and the survey had a margin of error of 2.6 points). The results were not what I had expected. It seems that only about half of Americans (51%) view christmas as a religious holiday, while the rest either think it is just a cultural holiday or don't care what kind of holiday it is. It's almost like two separate holidays with the same name are being celebrated at the same time.

I would have expected a larger percentage saying it was a religious holiday. But whatever the reason for celebrating christmas, it's obvious that Americans love the holiday. And the thing they like the most about it is being able to spend some quality time with family and friends. That was the thing that 69% said they enjoyed the most. Nothing else came close -- including enjoying religious reflection or services, which finished second at 11%.

Whatever your own personal view of the holiday, I hope you all have a happy holiday season. And get to celebrate it (or not celebrate it) in whatever way you desire, and with whoever makes you happy.

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