More respondents reported they felt comfortable with companies using the phrase “Merry Christmas” in advertising than “Happy Holidays,” according to a Monday poll published by Morning Consult.
The difference between the two wasn’t a lot, but 66 percent of respondents supported the use of “Merry Christmas” in stores, and 61 percent said it would be ok if stores used the more generic “Happy Holidays” greeting.
The similar results don’t add up to one hundred, because they were parts of two separate questions in the survey. The fact that the two numbers are so close indicates that a lot of Americans are fine with either use, but a small group has strong opinions on the matter.
Twelve percent of voters said that it was “inappropriate” for companies to use the term “Happy Holidays,” but 8 percent said that it wasn’t appropriate for companies to use the term “Merry Christmas” in advertising.
Interestingly, Christians are more likely to be okay with the use of “Happy Holidays” than the general population. Sixty percent of non-Christians supported the use of the term, compared to 62 percent of those who identified as Christian.
Additionally, 39 percent of respondents asserted that holiday-themed branding had no impact on their decision to shop at a particular store.
President-elect Donald Trump declared the “war on Christmas” over with his election, pledging to get us companies to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”
“I’m a good Christian. If I become president, we’re gonna be saying ‘merry Christmas’ at every store,” Trump said in Iowa last year. “You can leave ‘happy holidays’ at the corner.”
Morning Consult included 1,605 individuals in the survey, and ran from Dec. 1 through Dec. 2. The poll carried a margin of error of 2 percentage points in either direction.
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