According to a recent survey, Americans prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holidays’ by 20 percentage points. The Marist poll was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, who released the findings on Thursday.
Among the 1,005 adults surveyed, nearly six in 10 (57 percent) said they prefer “Merry Christmas,” and fewer than four in 10 (37 percent) preferred “Happy Holidays.”
“The vast majority of Americans celebrate Christmas and prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to a generic greeting,” said Knights CEO Carl Anderson of the results. “Celebrating Christmas is a reminder that Christ came into the world out of love for us and to teach us to love one another.”
Additionally, the Marist poll found that nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) Americans “strongly” or “very strongly” identified the birth of Jesus with the meaning of Christmas. Sixty-three percent of Americans also link the meaning of Christmas with attending church services.
The survey was conducted from Dec. 1-9 among adults 18 years of age and older.
In a recent NPR interview, President Obama noted the controversy that arose when he said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
President-elect Donald Trump often spoke on the campaign trail against using “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” Earlier this month he told a crowd at a “thank you” rally, “How about all those department stores, they have the bells and they have the red walls and they have the snow, but they don’t have ‘Merry Christmas’? I think they’re going to start putting up ‘Merry Christmas.’”