Ninety percent of Americans will celebrate Christmas this year - even 80 percent of non-Christians
Survey finds a third of Americans view Christmas as 'Cultural,' not religious event
Whatever one's creed, religion or even non-religion, an overwhelming majority of Americans say they will be celebrating Christmas this years. According to the Pew research Center, 90 percent of all Americans will be celebrating Christmas this year. This is true of the vast majority of non-Christians as well, 80 percent, who say they will be observing the holidays.
Many atheists say they will be celebrating Christmas this year, a holiday they say to them is more "cultural" than "religious."
Critics cite this as an example of "taking the Christ out of Christmas." The poll did find that the holiday's cultural traditions are as important as ever to Americans.
In the poll, respondents were asked to compare their perception and practice of Christmas between childhood and adulthood. The findings, researchers say are "consistent with other research showing that younger Americans are helping to drive the growth of the religiously unaffiliated population within the U.S."
Certain traditions such as Santa Claus, caroling, holiday cards for the most part, reflect an adult's childhood practices. Most Americans will attend a Christmas gathering with family or friends and exchange gifts as they did when they were children, for instance.
About 70 percent of Americans cite spending time with family and friends as the part of Christmas they look forward to the most. In a telling bit of information, religious reflection or attending church was a distant second at just 11 percent.
A few cultural traditions appear to be losing popularity. While 81 percent of Americans sent Christmas cards as children, just 65 percent will make the effort this year. Only 79 percent of Americans will haul an evergreen into their living rooms this December, compared with the 92 percent who put up a tree as children.
There was a defintie generational gap found in the erosion of Christian piety in America as well.
Twenty percent of Americans identify as having "no religious preference," two times higher than in 1990 and four times higher than in 1972, the first year the survey was taken. One-third of 18 to 24-year-olds in that survey declared "no religious preference."
In a landmark survey published earlier this year, Pew found a similar trend among American Jews, with 32 percent of millennials describing themselves as "having no religion."
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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