Gus Van Horn spotted some more interesting polling data coming out of the States, summarised by him as "Half of Americans Have Ceased Injecting Faith into Christmas":
[O]nly a little more than half [of Americans] actually regard the [Christmas] holiday primarily as a religious celebration.
More than one-third say it's more a cultural holiday, a new poll from Pew Research's Religion & Public Life Policy found.
This is great news from undeniably the most religious western country, and hopefully a growing cultural trend. As Gus says
This calls to mind Leonard Peikoff's classic essay, "Why Christmas Should Be More Commercial", which concludes:America's tragedy is that its intellectual leaders have typically tried to replace happiness with guilt by insisting that the spiritual meaning of Christmas is religion and self-sacrifice for Tiny Tim or his equivalent. But the spiritual must start with recognizing reality. Life requires reason, selfishness, capitalism; that is what Christmas should celebrate -- and really, underneath all the pretence, that is what it does celebrate. It is time to take the Christ out of Christmas, and turn the holiday into a guiltlessly egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration.Earlier in the piece, Peikoff reminds us that Christmas actually originated as a celebration of the winter solstice, with Christians reluctantly taking it over when it proved impossible to kill off.
That’s been the point of my #ChristmasMyths series, really. Pointing out the origins, allowing non-religious types to bask shamelessly in the celebration bequeathed to us by our pagan heritage.