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Poll reveals how many US adults believe in Santa Claus

Three out of four Americans think their fellow countrymen have forgotten ‘the real meaning of Christmas’

More than one in five Americans (21%) believe in Santa Claus, the fabled North Pole-dwelling red suit-clad old man who delivers presents to deserving recipients on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, according to a recent holiday-themed Ipsos poll published on Thursday. 

A further 46% of respondents claim their minor-age children believe in Santa Claus.

Meanwhile, fully three out of four respondents are apparently convinced the majority of their fellow Americans have forgotten what Christmas really means. 

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Republicans were more likely than any other demographic to believe their countrymen had forgotten the meaning of Christmas, more likely even than the Christians for whom the holiday represents the birth of their savior (88% vs 84%). However, even 60% of non-religious types saw their fellow Americans as somewhat lost where the true meaning of the holiday is concerned.

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Many Americans view Christmas as a time to visit family, exchange presents, and listen to seasonal music even in the absence of strong religious feeling. Poll respondents presented themselves as both tolerant and generous, with fully 70% reporting they would be comfortable attending a holiday party for a religion not their own compared to just 17% who wouldn’t. The average American claims to give about 12 gifts while receiving only six.

Ipsos’ inquiry into which Christmas songs inspire the most irritation revealed Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ as the clear winner with 12% of the vote. 

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Jingle Bells, with just 6%, was a distant second. A majority – 56% – of respondents think it is “appropriate” to play Christmas music as soon as Thanksgiving has passed.

Americans who haven’t done their holiday shopping yet might be in for a rude awakening this year, according to economic statistics crunched by Bankrate. The financial services company found 88% of holiday staples have increased in price over the last 12 months, with entertainment and traveling increasing the most in price. 

Santa Claus isn’t the only larger-than-life figure Americans admit to believing in, either. Depending on the poll, as many as nine in ten religious adults believe in angels of various kinds, while a Gallup poll conducted last year found 41% believe UFOs are alien spacecraft. 

December 16, 2022 at 02:59AM
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