Those Celebrating Only a Holiday Other Than Christmas Barely Outnumber Those Celebrating Nothing

December 24, 2013

Another interesting factoid from the PRRI-RNS study on holiday preferences. Roughly 9 in 10 respondents reported celebrating Christmas in some form. Interestingly, those who reported celebrating only some holiday other than Christmas (Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Diwali, or whatever) numbered 6 percent, compared to the 5 percent who reported celebrating no December holiday whatever (as I blogged yesterday:

Now this whole study should be approached with mild caution: it had just over a thousand respondents, a relatively small sample, and thus carries a largish +3 percent margin of error. That “5 percent don’t celebrate nothin'” claim is less impressive when we view it in the context of a margin of error that large. But it’s still valuable to know that the group celebrating nothing is only 1 percentage point smaller than the group celebrating some other holiday but not Christmas. After all, everybody knows people who only celebrate Hanukkah, or only celebrate the Solstice. But over almost three decades of living Yule free, I’ve lost count of how many times freethinkers tell me I’m the only person they know who celebrates none of the winter holidays and goes to work on December 25. So there must be quite a number of non-celebrators in the closet.

So come out of the closet, fellow Scrooges! If more Americans realized that the number of people who spurn every December holiday is already almost as large as the number who celebrate some non-Christian holiday exclusively, it would boost popular understanding that Christmas may be for lots of people, but it’s not for everyone.

Happy just another day to you all.