December 25th, 2008
07:18 AM ET
10 years ago

One in 4 Americans 'gung-ho' over Christmas

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The White House is ‘gung-ho’ about Christmas – so are 1 in 4 Americans."]

How do you celebrate the Christmas season? A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found most Americans fit into four basic groups:

GUNG-HO (27 percent): These are the people who go all-out for the holidays. Past surveys indicate that nearly all of the people in this group have a Christmas tree and put up Christmas lights or other decorations on the outside of their homes. They consider Christmas the best time of the year and most of them attend church weekly. If you have kids under 18 in your household, you're probably in this group.

HO-HO-HO (32 percent): This group definitely has the Christmas spirit, but may not go all-out during the holidays. Polls in previous years show that the people in this group are the most likely to indulge in cookies and other holiday goodies. They're not weekly church attenders but they're fairly religious. Half are married but only one in three have young children.

HO-HUM (25 percent): These people like Christmas but aren't wild about it. Most of them don't decorate the house for Christmas, according to past surveys, and they are the most likely to limit what they eat during the holidays rather than indulging and worrying about it later. They like Christmas but don't love it. Most of them are not married and only a quarter attend church weekly.

BAH, HUMBUG (12 percent): This group says that the holiday season is a bad time for them. They don't spend much time and effort on the holidays and if they have a tree, the odds are high that it is an artificial one. Four in ten don't send Christmas cards. They tend to be lower-income and six in ten are single, widowed or divorced. Only one in five attend church weekly.

Another 4 percent of adult Americans don't celebrate Christmas at all.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll is based on interviews with 1,096 adult Americans conducted by telephone on December 1-2, 2008. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Central Scruitinizer

    Despite all the rife and upset the world is going through, Merry Xmas to all and lets refocus for a better New Year.

    December 25, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  2. McKinney Kid

    At Christmas time, the merchandisers play our heart strings like a cheap fiddle. Whatever meaning the holiday once had, it's current meaning is "buy product." Merchandising and marketing cycles hinge on Christmas.

    Other holidays are being mined for their profitability and the American mind is slowly being changed in its attitudes toward each holiday. I can see a future when we gather around the decorated "freedom tree" and open "freedom presents" on MLK day. I see future July 4th's where we gather around the decorated "revolution tree" to open "revolutionary presents" like a star-spangled ipod and red-white-and-blue wide-screen TV's (made in China).

    Fundamentalists think that when the city council prohibits a manger scene in the city square that the true meaning of Christmas is being denied. The true meaning of Christmas is now to enhance the profitability of large corporations. Fundamentalists are fighting the wrong battle with the wrong enemy.

    December 25, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. WIlly Brown

    Really who cares if a person(s) does not do Christmas.

    December 25, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. We need something uplifting

    This has been a tough eight years, thank god it is coming to a close and hope for the best

    December 25, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Mobius

    Gung Ho? You most certainly did NOT employ that RACIST phrase! No way. Wow. You folks are amazing.

    December 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Ray Fisher

    I have always been a Christmas person until this year and not only this Christmas season but the entire year. The year began terrible as immediately after last New Years Day, the moving trucks began lining the parking lot of my apartment complex, my neighbor and best friend was a homebuilder from California who received a call from his company that funding was lost and to leave immediately only to be laid-off upon returning to California. As folks struggled this year, businesses have closed, banks have failed, and yesterday I was told my apartments are only 50% occupied and may close at any time. In short, there is much pain everywhere this year and I see no reason to celebrate until things improve because tomorrow my bank may fail. Merry Christmas to all and best of luck in 2009!!!

    December 25, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. KCBob

    I never understood the holiday. Why do people need a special day to not be greedy jerks? The whole thing seems to be a commercialized fabrication to boost corporate profits at the end of the year.

    Yes, I am in the 4%...

    December 25, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |