NPR/NewHour/Marist Poll:American Perceptions of the Holiday Season Find out all about our holiday habits and perceptions in a new NPR/PBS NewHour/Marist Poll.
NPR logo NPR/NewHour/Marist Poll:American Perceptions of the Holiday Season

NPR/NewHour/Marist Poll:American Perceptions of the Holiday Season

More than 40 red topiary trees line the East colonnade as part of the holiday decorations at the White House November 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 40 red topiary trees line the East colonnade as part of the holiday decorations at the White House November 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The holidays season is upon us, and with that comes merriment, stress, shopping, décor and much more. Do you prefer the greeting 'Merry Christmas,' or 'Happy Holidays'? Is your tree real or fake? Will that be cash or credit? Find out all about our holiday habits and perceptions in a new NPR/PBS NewHour/Marist Poll.

Read more analysis of the poll from NPR: HERE (link live at 5am)

Read the full results: HERE (Link live at 5am)

Key Finding:

  • 56% of Americans believe in December people should say Merry Christmas. 31% disagree and report Happy Holidays is the appropriate salutation. 11% say it does not make a difference, and 1% are unsure.
  • 58% of Americans say they find the holiday season to be more fun than stressful. 38% feel the opposite and say it is more stressful.
  • 71% of Americans consider decorating for the holidays to be more fun than stressful. In contrast, 23% say it is more stressful.
  • 55% of Americans plan to have an artificial tree. 21% will decorate a real tree, and 22% say they do not put up a tree in their home.
  • 33% of Americans say that crowds are what they dislike most about the holidays, 16% say finding the right gift, 13% say gaining weight, 11% say time with relatives, 11% say credit card debt, and 8% say traveling.
  • 52% say they plan to spend about the same amount of money as they did last year. 35% report they will spend less money, and 14% say they plan to spend more.
  • 52% down from 60% in 2014, pay for their purchases using cash. 44%, up from 37%, report they mostly use credit cards to pay for their holiday presents. Holiday shoppers under 30 (63%) are more likely than those who are older to use credit cards.
  • 84% of Americans say they do not re-gift their holiday presents. This compares with 77% in 2009. 16% say they do re-gift. Americans living in big cities (26%) are more likely than those in other regions to say they re-gift presents.
  • 82% of Americans, up from 69% reported in a 2005 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll, say the tree is a cultural symbol. 13% think it is more of a religious symbol. Most Americans under 45 years of age (91%), including 96% of those under 30, perceive the Christmas tree to be more of a cultural symbol.
  • WHATEVER! Tis also the season for the most annoying word or phrase. For a decade whatever (36%) has been chosen by Americans as the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation. 22% of Americans say no offense, but is the most irksome. 15% mention you know what I mean while 14% say literally gets on their nerves the most. Actually receives 6%, and 7% are unsure. Last year, whatever topped the list with 33%. 23% of Americans chose fake news. No offense, but had 20%, and 11% selected literally. You know what I mean received 10%. Three percent were unsure.

Contact:
Ben Fishel
NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org