Well, I could have told Pew Research Center that we millennials loved our Christmas, but it’s always good to have a study to back up your opinions! According to a 2013 survey, nine out of ten millennials claim they take part in Christmas, but only four out of that ten claim they do so as a religious holiday. Must be all those elves on our shelves.
According to their research, 43% of millennials view Christmas as more of a cultural holiday, while 40% of us millennials view Christmas as a religious one. Meanwhile, members of older generations say they celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday (though, who knows, that’s what they say). 56% of Baby Boomers, for example, claim to view Christmas as a more religious holiday, while only 26% of them see it as a cultural one. As if we needed more proof that we see the world differently from our elders.
Unsurprisingly, millennials are much less likely to attend Christmas religious services or even claim they believe in the virgin birth. But the new survey also shows that even the millennials who consider themselves Christians are far more likely than their older counterparts to view Christmas as more of a cultural than a religious celebration. Not that you can blame them — just walking through our local grocery store really drives home the point that Christmas has increasingly become about the decorating and not the religious message.
Despite our religious differences, millennials celebrate many of the cultural parts of Christmas at roughly equal rates to older Americans – and sometimes at even higher rates. For example, 91% of millennials claimed to have bought gifts for friends or family during the 2013 holiday season, while only 86% of Baby Boomers said the same. And millennials are at least as likely as older generations to attend a gathering with extended family or friends, put up a Christmas tree, or go caroling. I, for one, have done all three!
But guys, we need to step up our game in one aspect: holiday cards. We are the most poorly represented in the mail, with only 56% of us claiming to send some holiday cheer, compared to our grandparents and great-grandparents, who own their Christmas card game at 76% participation. Let’s be honest, an e-card is not nearly as moving as receiving some good ol’ fashion snail mail. Time to head to our local stationery store and represent our generation!
(Image via NBC.)