What do you most look forward to at Christmas? What do you like least?

December 24, 2013

Before clicking on the links in the text below, think about your own answers to the title question. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle from top to bottom, making two columns. On one side, write “Look forward to,” and on the other, write “Like least.” After you make your personal lists, read this article by sociologist Lisa Wade from her Sociological Images site.  

And if you’d like to compare your additional thoughts about Christmas with even more opinions from a random sample of 2001 other people throughout the United States, read the results of this telephone survey conducted by Pew Research for their Religion & Public Life Project this month. (Pew reports that nine out of ten Americans say they celebrate Christmas.)  Find out how women and men of various age and family income categories, ethnic backgrounds, and religious affiliations answered such questions as these: Is Christmas more a religious or a cultural holiday?  Do you attend Christmas religious services? Do you believe Jesus was born of a virgin?  Respondents also reported on whether or not they planned to gather with extended family or friends on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and whether or not they had done so during childhood.  They were also asked to compare participation in other holiday activities (such as caroling, sending cards, exchanging gifts, and having Christmas trees) then and now.  What are some other questions you wish had been asked in the survey?

 

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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