You don’t have to be Christian to love Christmas.
The Pew Research Center found that nearly nine in ten Americans say they celebrate the holiday, including 81 percent of non-Christians.
Unsurprisingly, virtually all persons who identify as Christians, 96 percent, celebrate Christmas every year.
Researchers found that 86 percent of Americans, regardless of religious affiliation, plan on gathering with friends or family on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The same number plan to buy gifts this holiday season and 79 percent will put up a Christmas tree.
Even members of Eastern religions plan to celebrate Christmas this year. About 72 percent of American Hindus and 76 percent of Asian-American Buddhists will observe some holiday traditions.
However, these current numbers are a dramatic drop from the percentage of Americans who say they fully engaged with the Christmas holiday during their childhood. Eighty-one of respondents said that when they were young they sent Christmas cards. Only 65 percent of Americans say they send cards today.
Some 72 percent of Americans say that when they were children their household pretended that Santa Clause visited on Christmas Day. For most Americans, Santa is no longer coming to town. Only 32 percent of respondents say that Santa still visits their home on Christmas.
Caroling has also gone out of fashion. Thirty-six percent of Americans went caroling during their childhood, but only 15 percent band together with friends and family to sing Christmas songs today.
Today only 51 percent of Americans believe that Christmas is a religious holiday, while 32 percent personally see Christmas as a cultural celebration, according to Pew’s polling. Millennials are less likely to celebrate the religious aspects of Christmas.
More than half of Americans (54 percent) still plan on attending a religious service on Christmas Eve or Day. This is lower than the 79 percent who say they went to church on Christmas as a child.
Sixty-nine percent say that the highlight of the holiday is spending time with friends and family.
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