By Julie Asher
WASHINGTON (CNS) — A new Marist poll shows that a majority of Americans — by 20 percentage points — say they like the greeting “Merry Christmas” rather than the generic “Happy Holidays” this time of year. In addition, a strong majority also associates the meaning of the holiday with Jesus’ birth.
The poll was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.
Almost six in 10 — 57 percent — say they prefer “Merry Christmas,” while fewer than four in 10 — 37 percent — prefer “Happy Holidays.”
“Celebrating Christmas is a reminder that Christ came into the world out of love for us and to teach us to love one another,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in statement Dec. 22, the day the poll results were released.
The poll also found that nearly eight in 10 Americans — 79 percent — strongly or very strongly identify the birth of Jesus with the meaning of Christmas.
And almost two-thirds of Americans — 63 percent — think the meaning of Christmas is strongly or very strongly linked with attending church services.
The Marist Poll organization conducted the survey of 1,005 adults from Dec. 1-9. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the continental United States were interviewed on either landline or mobile phones using live interviewers. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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