Nearly two-thirds of adults nationally — 64% — think people should say, “Merry Christmas” during the holiday season while more than three in ten — 31% — believe the appropriate greeting is “Happy Holidays.” Four percent are unsure.
When Marist last reported it in 2010, 61% thought “Merry Christmas” should convey the greetings of the season while 35% believed “Happy Holidays” did the trick. Five percent, at that time, were unsure.
This poll was released in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus. To learn more, click here.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, do Americans plan to spend more money this holiday season? Half of adults who spend money on holiday shopping — 50% — say they will shell out the same amount they did last year, but more than four in ten — 42% — think they will spend less money, and only 7% expect to spend more.
Last year, similar proportions of adults who spend money on holiday shopping had these views. At that time, 51% thought they would spend the same amount as they had the previous holiday season. Four in ten — 40% — said they would spend less, and 9% reported they would pay more.
Buzz:60′s video about the Marist Poll on holiday spending:
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is well underway, and as cash registers nationwide ring up all of those holiday purchases, there is one thing missing — plastic. 56% of U.S. adults who spend money on holiday shopping say they are not using credit cards while purchasing their holiday presents. 26% are buying some of their gifts on credit while 9% are using their credit cards for most of them. An additional 9% are charging all of their holiday purchases.
Income does play a role here. 66% of those who earn less than $50,000 annually do not plan to use their credit cards for any holiday gifts while less than half — 47% — of those who earn $50,000 or more say the same.
Younger Americans are more likely to put the plastic away. 70% of those 18 to 29 are not using credit cards when buying their holiday gifts. This compares with 57% of residents 30 to 44, 56% of those 45 to 59, and 48% of those 60 and older.
Online Shopping Up for the Holidays
More holiday shoppers in the United States are making their purchases online. 42% are buying some of their gifts online while 11% are purchasing all or most of them electronically. 47% are not using the web at all for their holiday shopping.
When Marist last asked this question in 2007, more Americans are making at least some of their holiday purchases online. Three years ago, 37% bought some of their presents this way while 4% logged on to buy all or most of them. A majority — 58% — did not use the internet at all for this purpose.
Currently, those who make less annually are less likely to buy online than are those who earn more. 61% of those who make less than $50,000 a year are not using the internet for any of their holiday gifts. This compares with 31% of those who earn $50,000 or more.
Scrooge or Santa? Majority Plan to Spend About the Same on Holiday Gifts
When it comes to their holiday shopping habits, 51% of adults who buy holiday gifts are spending about the same amount of money they did last year. 40% are shelling out less while just 9% are spending more.
While nearly six in ten – 58% — of those who earn $50,000 or more annually report they are going to spend the same as last year, 44% of those who make less say the same. An additional 44% in this income bracket plan to spend less compared with 35% whose annual salary is $50,000 or more.
Currently, Americans 18 to 29 (23%) are more likely to spend more this year than are those 30 to 44 (7%), those 45 to 59 (4%), and those 60 and older (6%). Women (43%) are more likely than men (37%) to spend less.
Since family and friends will gather around the dining room table this Thanksgiving, we at The Marist Poll thought we’d ask Americans by whom the first Thanksgiving was celebrated? And, school teachers will be happy to hear that most — 86% — said the pilgrims and Native Americans. Just 6% said it was celebrated by others, and 7% were unsure.
Family Time Favored by Americans on Thanksgiving
Which holiday activity is preferred by Americans on Thanksgiving? Most — 84% — say spending time with family and friends tops their list. 10% prefer to get down to the feast and eat, and 5% report watching football is their favorite pastime on the holiday followed by 2% who tune into the Thanksgiving Day parade.
It’s a holiday tradition, and for the second year, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life takes the top spot in The Marist Poll’s holiday movie survey. 26% of Americans say Capra’s classic is their favorite holiday movie while A Christmas Story is preferred by 21% of Americans. 18% “believe” and rank Miracle on 34th Street their number-one holiday flick. 14% wait all year for Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney to grace the screen in White Christmas. And, the same proportion — 14% — are pleasantly haunted by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
When Marist asked about Americans’ favorite holiday movies last December, It’s a Wonderful Life placed first, A Christmas Story came in second, and Miracle on 34th Street rounded out the top three. White Christmas took the fourth slot, and A Christmas Carol and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tied for fifth place.
Holiday movie preferences are affected by age. Americans 18 to 44 years old currently think A Christmas Story is the ultimate holiday movie. 31% of those 18 to 29 believe this to be the case as do 34% of those 30 to 44. Residents 45 to 59 align with the overall population. 37% of those in this age group rank It’s a Wonderful Life to be the top Christmas movie. Americans 60 and older divide. 27% within this age bracket say White Christmas takes top honors while 25% believe It’s a Wonderful Life reigns supreme.
‘Toon Time: Rudolph and Charlie Brown Fan Favorites
When it comes to animated holiday movies, two favorites tie for the number-one spot. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas each receive 26% of Americans’ vote. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the favorite of 25% of residents. 11% prefer Frosty the Snowman, and 6% most enjoy Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.
Rudolph better watch out, because Charlie Brown has come from behind! When Marist last asked about favorite animated Christmas movies last December, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was favored while A Charlie Brown Christmas came in second. How the Grinch Stole Christmas remains in the number-three slot. Last year, Frosty the Snowman followed in fourth and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town slid into the number five spot.
There’s a good chance this holiday season that the present you unwrap is the gift that keeps on giving. Although 77% of U.S. residents say they do not re-gift holiday presents, a notable proportion – 23% — have no problem giving a gift that they’ve received to someone else.
There is an age gap on this question. Younger Americans are more likely to re-gift holiday presents. 36% of those 18 to 29 years old pass along a previous present while 27% of those 30 to 44 admit to doing the same. Nearly one-fifth of Americans age 45 to 59 re-gift as do 17% of those 60 and older.
The practice also occurs more frequently in the Northeast than in other parts of the country. Four in ten residents in the Northeast re-gift compared with 20% in the South, 20% in the West, and 17% in the Midwest.
Wine Tops List of Re-Gifted Gifts
Be wary the next time someone wraps up a bottle of wine and gives it to you as a gift! 27% of residents nationally report wine to be the item they’d most likely re-gift. 22% would re-wrap that festive fruitcake, and 18% say a candle would top their list of gifts to re-purpose. A glass dish and candy receive 15% and 11%, respectively.
Do the holidays give you a great big headache? You aren’t alone! The holiday season has its fair share of hassles.
The biggest – traffic. 32% of U.S. residents report that traffic is the biggest nuisance during the holiday season. Long lines and rude shoppers are tied for a distant second with 18% each. Unhelpful salespeople frustrate 9% of Americans while 8% are discouraged by finding hard to get gifts. During the holiday season, unruly children annoy 7% of the population.
Men are more put off by holiday traffic than are women. 37% of men are irritated by traffic jams compared with 27% of women.
Summer is winding down, and for those lucky enough to have travelled this season, that means carrying memories of tropical, exotic, and/or relaxing destinations.
But, are those memories always good ones? Not for one-fifth of Americans. That’s the proportion of residents nationwide who say they have been on a disaster vacation at some point in their lives. Most — 80% — however, report they have not experienced a “disaster” trip.
What caused those miserable memories? 23% blame the weather, and the same proportion cites the people with whom they went. With 15%, illness is named as the number three reason. And, rounding out the top five are accommodations with 10% and transportation with 9%. Destination, crime, and food follow with 7%, 6%, and 1%, respectively.