Three quarters agree most Americans have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas

Plurality of Americans finds Mariah Carey’s Christmas hits annoying and overplayed

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Charlie Rollason Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, December 15, 2022 — With the holidays around the corner, an Ipsos poll reveals Americans’ perceptions on the meaningfulness, songs, gifts, and décor of Christmas. Three quarters of Americans agree people have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas, with about two-fifths (42%) saying they strongly agree. This level of agreement varies by religion, party affiliation, and age. Christians, for example, are more likely (84%) to think Americans have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas compared to non-religious Americans (60%). Agreement is also higher among Republicans and respondents over the age of 50 than among Democrats and those ages 18-24 or 25-34, respectively.

Graphs with the headline, "Three quarters agree most Americans have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas".

When it comes to holiday décor, nearly nine in ten (85%) Americans say they decorate their homes for the holidays, with a plurality (41%) saying they personally start taking down their decorations in the first week of January. Nearly half (48%) say the latest people should leave their holiday decorations up is the first week of January, and roughly a fifth (23%) say people should take down their Christmas decorations by late January.

The majority (87%) of respondents say that waiting until at least after Thanksgiving is the most appropriate time to start playing Christmas music in public. This proportion is consistent across subgroups, where a majority says that waiting until at least after Thanksgiving is appropriate. When asked about the most annoying or overplayed Christmas song out there, about half (54%) of Americans could name a song they found most irritating. According to a plurality of Americans (12%), the topmost annoying or overplayed Christmas song is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas,” followed by “Jingle Bells” (6%) and “Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer” (5%).

About the Study

This Ipsos Poll was conducted December 9-11, 2022 by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,023 adults.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in English. The data for the total sample were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, and household income. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2022 March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS). The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45-59 and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other, Non-Hispanic, Hispanic, 2+ Races, Non-Hispanic)
  • Education (Less than High School, High School, Some College, Bachelor or higher)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1,18. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. Sampling error is only one potential source of error. There may be other unmeasured non-sampling error in this or any poll. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

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Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has been listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and Mid-60 indices and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Charlie Rollason Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs