'Merry Christmas' Beats 'Happy Holidays' in Actual Consumer Usage

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In the ongoing battle over whether it's better to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays," "Merry Christmas" is winning by almost a 4-to-1 margin and it's part of an accelerating 3-year trend.

This year, those people are using more generic terms like 'best wishes in this holiday season,' that allow them to avoid the usage of the term `happy holidays.'

In the ongoing battle over whether it's better to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays," "Merry Christmas" is winning by almost a 4-to-1 margin.

http://www.GiftBasketsDeluxe.com, a major gift basket company, today announced the results of an analysis of holiday gift card messages sent through their company.

The study showed that 73 percent of holiday gift baskets sent used the term "Christmas" on their cards, as opposed to the more politically correct term "holidays."

This is part of an accelerating three-year trend. Studies of gifts sent through the company in prior years show that:

  • 42 percent used the term "Christmas" in 2004
  • 57 percent used it in 2005
  • A record-high level of 73 percent used it in 2006

This type of data is more accurate than traditional poll data, because it reports what people actually do, rather than what they tell pollsters they do.

"It appears that consumers are reacting to the removal of Christmas trees from airports, nativity scenes from public squares and traditional carols from grade school performances by choosing to use the term 'Merry Christmas' more than they did in the past," said Don Crowther, president of GiftBasketsDeluxe.com.

"For some, it's a religious statement," Crowther said. "But for others, it appears that this is a backlash against the way Christmas has been politicized, with courts mandating the removal of many of the symbols and traditions that form a foundation for this holiday."

Crowther also noticed what appears to be a backlash against the term "happy holidays."

"People who didn't use the word Christmas in their cards used to say 'happy holidays,'" Crowther said. "This year, those people are using more generic terms like 'best wishes in this holiday season,' that allow them to avoid the usage of the term `happy holidays.'" He thinks that is because some people now assign the phrase "happy holidays" a negative connotation.

The study includes gift baskets ordered between Nov. 16 and Dec. 13, 2006.

http://www.GiftBasketsDeluxe.com and http://www.Corporate-Gift-Baskets.com are websites for a privately-held company that specializes in providing unique, distinctive gift baskets and corporate gift baskets that people use and remember long after the gift is received.

Don Crowther is available for interviews through December 25, 2006. He can be contacted at 262-639-2270. His high-resolution photo can be downloaded at http://www.GiftBasketsDeluxe.com/consumerterms2006.html along with a 4-color graph that illustrates the usage trends for these terms.

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Don Crowther
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