This year more than ever, Americans prefer that stores and businesses welcome them with the more generic "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" than "Merry Christmas," according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service.
And for one in four American adults (26%), Dec. 25 is simply a cultural holiday, not a religious holy day….
Why the shift toward a more secular Christmas? One reason, Jones said, is that a decade ago, many more people identified as evangelicals, who (according to the poll) take the holiday most seriously. Today, they are 18% of Americans — outnumbered by the 20% who say they have no religious identity, Jones said….
Selling to the under-30 crowd? Skip the religious greeting, 66% of young adults say. "They didn't grow up with a stigma attached to being unreligious," Jones said….
Most adults are about as religious about Christmas as their families were in their childhood: 70% celebrated it then as a strongly or somewhat religious day, but 26% had a cultural celebration.