Poll: Americans want to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in stores

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”?

Some stores may be avoiding it, but an overwhelming majority of Americans still would like to see signs with the traditional greeting of “Merry Christmas” while shopping, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 adults. The survey asked simply, “Would you prefer stores to show signs saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’?’” By a 69-23 percent margin American adults preferred “Merry Christmas.” The poll was conducted Nov. 18-19.

Democrats and Republicans even agreed on the issue: 61 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of Republicans say they favor “Merry Christmas.”

Nationwide, stores this year seem to be more inclined to use “Christmas” instead of “holidays” in their greetings, advertising and in-store displays. Wal-Mart recently announced it would purchase TV ads mentioning Christmas, change the name of its seasonal decorating department back to “The Christmas Shop” instead of “The Holiday Shop” and play Christmas carols throughout its stores. The switch comes after conservative groups protested Wal-Mart’s usage of generic holiday greetings last year.

In addition, a host of other stores –- including K-Mart, Kohl’s, Sears and Target –- are using “Christmas” in various ways this year, according to a list compiled by the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel.

The Rasmussen poll also found 59 percent of Americans plan on attending a “Christian church” Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service this year. Thirty-two percent will not.

Christmas trees remain popular among Americans. According to a separate Rasmussen poll of 1,000 adults conducted Nov. 28-29, 62 percent of Americans say they will have a Christmas tree in their home, while 22 percent will not and 16 percent have yet to decide. The percentage of Americans with a tree is highest among younger adults. Among those ages 18-29, 71 percent will have a tree; only 47 percent of those 65 and older will have one. Also, by a margin of 60-29 percent, most Americans say they’ll attend a Christmas party.

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With reporting by Erin Roach.

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