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Americans Like ‘Merry Christmas’ More But Say It Less

Very few Americans are offended when someone wishes them a “Merry Christmas,” but most are more likely to say “Happy Holidays” to someone else rather than risk offending them.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed Adults nationwide to get a sense of what they consider proper etiquette this holiday season, whether they celebrate Christmas or not. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Ninety-two percent (92%) of Americans say they celebrate Christmas in their family. Just six percent (6%) do not.

Among those who celebrate Christmas, 36% say they are more likely to wish a Merry Christmas to a casual acquaintance even if they know the person celebrates some other holiday at this time of year. However, 58% say they’re more likely to wish that person Happy Holidays.

Forty-three percent (43%) of those who don’t celebrate Christmas are more likely to wish someone Happy Holidays even if they know that person celebrates the holiday. Nearly as many (39%) say they’d wish that individual a Merry Christmas, but 18% aren’t sure.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. 

The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on December 4-5, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

How strongly do those who celebrate Christmas feel when someone wishes them Happy Holidays? Religion-wise, which group is more likely to wish someone Merry Christmas even if they don’t celebrate the holiday? Become a Platinum member and find out.

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