Gazette Editoril Board
Christmas remains by far the most important holiday among Americans. A recent scientific national poll commissioned by United Methodist Communications found that in all adult age groups, Christmas tops runner-up Independence Day by anywhere from 6 percentage points among the 65-plus crown to 29 percentage points among those ages 35-44 and 25 points for those under 18-24.
Not surprising, given the amount of time many American families put into preparing and carrying on Christmas traditions.
As to whether Christmas has become more of a secular holiday than a religious one, well, the poll isn’t exactly clear. While 76 percent of those surveyed said they exchange gifts and more people (55 percent) attend a holiday party than go to a worship service (47 percent), it also found that the Christmas activity least enjoyed is shopping for gifts (16 percent) and the one enjoyed the most is sharing a meal with family or friends (25 percent). As for the Christmas activity with the most meaning to you, sharing a meal again ranked at the top (54 percent), attending worship services was No. 2 (14 percent), with exchanging gifts at the bottom (4 percent).
What’s clear is that Christmas is still important as a religious observance while sharing time and food ranks highest. They aren’t necessarily exclusive of each other.
Our Christmas wish for Eastern Iowans follows those lines. We hope all Eastern Iowans, believers in the Christmas message of Jesus or not, have an opportunity to share a good meal and meaningful activities with family members, friends or strangers. Celebrate Christmas for reasons that matter not just for a day or a week but all year long.
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