Poll: Trend in what Christmas greeting people prefer

knights-of-columbusA new survey finds Americans by a wide margin prefer the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting to the non-specific “Happy Holidays.”

The Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll found that two-thirds of adults nationally — 66 percent — think people should say, “Merry Christmas,” while less than one-third — 29 percent — believe the appropriate greeting is “Happy Holidays.” The proportion that prefers “Merry Christmas” has continued to inch up over the past two years. Last year, 64 percent thought “Merry Christmas” was the more appropriate greeting while 31 percent preferred “Happy Holidays.” In 2010, the number preferring “Merry Christmas” stood at 61 percent. Five percent remain unsure.

“That we prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ by such a wide margin is indicative of the importance that Christmas has in the lives of the great majority of Americans,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “For that vast majority of Americans who observe Christmas, this day and season are a time for us to celebrate the fact that God exists and is with us. Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ allows us to celebrate that fact with joy and let us share this joy with our loved ones and neighbors.”

The meaning of Christmas has long been important to the Knights of Columbus. For decades, the Knights have been at the forefront of the campaign to “Keep Christ in Christmas,” producing public service announcements (PSAs) with the “Keep Christ in Christmas” message since the 1980s. The radio and television PSAs reach millions annually. The PSAs can be accessed at kofc.org/christmas.

This Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll surveyed 1,246 adults and was conducted December 4 through December 6, 2012, and has a margin of error within +/- 2.8 percentage points. Results may be viewed at kofc.org/moralcompass.

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