Canadians prefer ‘Christmas’ to ‘Holiday Season’ just one finding in Angus Reid/U of L survey

An online survey of more than 1,500 Canadian adults by the Angus Reid Institute and University of Lethbridge sociologist Dr. Reginald Bibby shows that eight out of 10 respondents preferred to use the term ‘Christmas.’

Regardless of their religion or culture, people who responded to the survey showed much in common when it comes to celebrating Christmas. Almost all of the respondents, 94 per cent, say being with friends and family is what makes Christmas special. Slightly more than half, 54 per cent, pointed to celebrating the birth of Christ as the reason Christmas is special. Three out of four Canadians say the best thing about Christmas is that it provides a break from everyday life.

As for key features of Christmas, more than half of those surveyed indicated sharing a Christmas meal together makes the day special. About a quarter of people singled out gift giving and receiving as the aspect that made Christmas special.

If the survey is any indication, Christmas church services across the country can expect to see double the usual attendance. Two in five people said they would attend a Christmas service, twice as many who said they normally attend a service once a month or more.

The survey also points to Christmas as being a time to reflect — to remember those who are no longer there, to ponder the direction life has taken, and the role of faith in life.

Bibby, a Board of Governors Research Chair in the Department of Sociology and researcher in the Prentice Institute has monitored social trends in Canada for the past 40 years. The full news release can be found on the Angus Reid Institute website.