When given the option of hearing “Merry Christmas” or a less religious greeting — like “Happy Holidays” — in stores and businesses, Americans choose Merry Christmas by a 60%-to-23% margin. When specifically given “doesn’t matter” as an option, however, a 45%-plurality have no preference for how they are greeted during the holiday season — 42% want Merry Christmas and 12% prefer the less religious greeting. Seniors (those ages 65 and older) strongly prefer Merry Christmas (64%) but the youngest Americans (18-29) are much more likely to say it does not matter (59%). Politically, Republicans are the biggest advocates of Merry Christmas (62%), while nearly half (49%) of Democrats and a small majority (52%) of independents are unconcerned by stores’ choice of holiday greetings. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.