A December, 2018 report from Lifeway Research revealed that the majority of people think that not enough emphasis is placed on the true meaning of Christmas during the holiday season.
The survey revealed that most people think more of a religious emphasis should be brought back for Christmastime. Sixty-five percent of respondents surveyed stated that Christmas should be more about Jesus.
But that number is down from four years ago when Lifeway Research found that seventy-nine percent of those polled thought there should be more Christ in Christmas. Similar numbers disagreed with the statement in both the 2014 and 2018 polls, eighteen percent and 19 percent respectively. However, the percentage of people who were unsure if they agreed with the statement increased between 2014 to 2018 with only three percent saying they were unsure if Christmas should be more about Jesus in 2014, contrasted with sixteen percent who were unsure in this year’s survey.
The survey states that the major shift in uncertainty is from the non-Christian camp. In 2014, sixty-three percent of other faiths agreed Christmas should be more about Jesus, and forty-six percent of nonreligious people agreed. Now, those numbers are nearly reduced by 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.
One of the ways some want to see more recognition of Jesus in the celebrations this time of year is in our greetings. Around a third of Americans (32 percent) say it is offensive when someone says “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” A similar number (33 percent) say the same about using “X-mas” instead of “Christmas.”
This Christmas, try to implement some simple activities into your holiday plans that help keep Christ in Christmas. Additionally, try to weed out those activities stressing you out that just might be placing too much of an emphasis on materialistic things. To help you get started, below is a list of simple ways you can emphasize Jesus throughout the remainder of the Christmas season.
- Be polite to everyone you encounter. It doesn’t matter if they just stole “your” parking spot or picked up the last item on the shelf you needed at the store.
- Get a nativity scene and place it somewhere prominently in your home. As prominent as your Christmas tree and presents.
- Implement some type of Christmas reading of the birth of Christ.
- Encourage your children to be givers by giving a gift to a child in an impoverished country.
- Discuss with your family God’s greatest gift and how he expects us to share his gift with others.
- Invite someone to share in your Christmas dinner who might not be able to afford their own.
- Make a special, simple gift for people who you see regularly but don’t normally get gifts for e.g. your pastor, or neighbor. Some years, my family would get a little surprise gift for our mailman.
- Attend church on Christmas Eve. A candlelight service is really special, and can especially have a big impact on kids.
- Carry the generosity and sharing attitude over into the New Year. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year…, right