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Most Americans Want Christ in Christmas

Survey respondents say the holiday should be more about Jesus

Christina Quick on December 14, 2018

@ChristinaJQuick

About two-thirds of Americans agree that “Christmas should be more about Jesus,” but the sentiment is declining, according to a new survey from LifeWay Research.

The share of those calling for more of Christ in Christmas has fallen 14 percentage points over the last four years, from 79 percent in 2014 to 65 percent today. While the percentage of Americans disagreeing with the idea that Christmas should be more about Jesus stayed roughly the same (just under 20 percent), considerably more respondents said they were unsure (16 percent in 2018 vs. 3 percent in 2014).

Even in an increasingly secular nation, many people are open to hearing more about Jesus at Christmastime.

Fewer Christians today say Christmas should be more about Jesus (81 percent, compared to 92 percent in 2014). However, 97 percent of evangelicals remain committed to increasing the Christ focus in Christmas.

About one-third of Americans, and 40 percent of Christians, find it offensive when someone says, “Happy holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas.” A similar share of Americans take offense at the use of “Xmas” in place of “Christmas.” Those aged 50 and older (41 percent) and evangelicals (65 percent) are more likely to say a generic holiday greeting is offensive.

Interestingly, 28 percent of the religiously unaffiliated and 35 percent of adherents of non-Christian faiths say Christmas should be more about Jesus. And 15 percent of “nones” and 12 percent of those from other faiths find the “happy holidays” substitution offensive.

Even in an increasingly secular nation, many people are open to hearing more about Jesus at Christmastime. This is an opportunity for churches and Christ followers to explain the reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15) and declare the good news of great joy to all people (Luke 2:10).

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