Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Numbers

Christmas is probably the most anticipated and celebrated of any of the holidays here in the United States.   A recent Gallup Poll found that 95% of Americans celebrate the holiday in one way or another.   This number has remained pretty consistent since Gallup began measuring it in 1994 (with the numbers ranging from 93% to 96% in that 17 year stretch).

For many christmas is a very religious holiday, and for others it is just somewhat religious or even purely secular -- as the holiday is celebrated by 80% of us atheists and other non-christians.   According to the poll about 51% of those who celebrate the holiday believe christmas is a strongly religious holiday.   Another 31% say it is a somewhat religious holiday, and 17% celebrate christmas as a purely secular holiday.

What I found interesting in the survey was how people celebrate the holiday.   Almost everyone celebrates the secular part of the holiday (Santa, gifts, tree, meeting with family & friends), while smaller numbers celebrate the religious aspect of the holiday.   Here are the numbers on how Americans celebrate the holiday:

Exchange gifts..........93%

Meet with family/friends on christmas eve/day..........93%

Put up a christmas tree..........88%

Put up decorations (other than tree)..........87%

Reflect on birth of christ..........78%

Go to christmas parties..........74%

Display religious decorations..........65%

Attend religious service on christmas eve/day..........62%

Attend christmas concert/play..........56%

However you celebrate this day and season, I hope it is a happy and safe time for each and every one of you.

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