NASHVILLE (BP) — Most Americans want more religious meaning to the Christmas season, and for some that includes the seasonal greetings we say to each other.
A new study from LifeWay Research found two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) say, “Christmas should be more about Jesus.”
Those looking for more Christ in Christmas in 2018, however, are significantly fewer than four years ago. A 2014 LifeWay Research study found 79 percent of Americans at that time said Christmas should be more about Jesus.
While similar numbers registered disagreement with the statement in 2014 and 2018 (18 and 19 percent respectively), the percentage who said they were unsure if Christmas should be more about Jesus jumped from 3 percent four years ago to 16 percent today.
“Saying Christmas should be more about Jesus is a little like saying Thanksgiving should be more about giving thanks. It’s in the name of the holiday,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, based in Nashville. “Yet, it appears there is less cultural expectation for celebrations of the Christmas holiday to include the religious aspect.”
Much of the shift came from non-Christians. In 2014, a majority of members of other faiths (63 percent) and almost half of the non-religious (46 percent) agreed that Christmas should be more about Jesus. Today, those numbers have dropped by nearly half.
In 2018, around a third of Americans of other religious persuasions (35 percent) and slightly more than a quarter of the non-religious (28 percent) believe Christmas needs more Christ.
Fewer Christians also say Christmas should be more about Jesus. In 2014, 92 percent agreed, while 81 percent agree today. Still, 97 percent of those with evangelical beliefs agree today.