Commentary

Between Bah And Humbug Are My Favorite Things

The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year is a special time, filled with family, friends, songs and holiday cheer. But mixed in with all of this comes the stress of spending too much money, having to deal with crowded shopping malls and listening to the same old Holiday songs, usually all occurring at the same time.

According to the results of The Harris Poll November 2 and 11, 2009 by Harris Interactive, the one thing people most look forward to in the holiday season is spending time with family and friends (62%).

advertisement

advertisement

Some of the other overall findings about people's favorite anticipations include:

  • 8% of Americans say they look forward to holiday dinners and parties
  • 7% say finding and giving presents
  • 4% look forward to watching television specials and hearing holiday songs on the radio
  • 3% like putting up holiday decorations
  • 2% anticipate getting presents
  • 8% of Americans say they do not look forward to the upcoming holiday

Thing Most Look Forward To For The Holidays (% of Respondents)

 

Total

Generation

 

2007

2009

EchoBoomers (18-32)

GenX

(33-44)

BabyBoomers (45-63)

Matures (64+)

Spending time with family and friends

66%

62%

53%

63%

65%

71%

Holiday dinners and parties

9

8

13

4

 8

6

Finding and giving presents

6

7

9

12

5

4

Watching television specials and hearing holiday songs on the radio

4

4

5

2

4

3

Putting up holiday decorations

n/a

3

3

5

3

2

Getting presents

1

2

6

1

*

-

I do not celebrate any upcoming holidays

2

2

2

2

1

 

I don't look forward to the upcoming holidays

9

8

4

9

9

9

Not sure

3

4

4

2

5

4

Source: HarrisPoll, November 2009

While 21% of people who celebrate holidays say they like everything about the holiday season, there are some things that people dislike about this time of year. 27% say the one thing they dislike the most about the holidays is spending too much money, while 23% say it is the holiday shopping crowds. 6% say the one thing they dislike is putting up and then taking down holiday decorations. 5% say television specials and holiday songs, 4% dislike finding and giving presents, 4% don't like eating and drinking too much, and 2% dislike spending time with family and friends.

As people get older spending time with family and friends is what they look forward to for the holiday season. 70% of Matures, those aged 64 and older, say that is what they look forward to compared with 52% of Echo Boomers, those aged 18-32. 31% of Matures say they "like everything about the holiday season."

For some people one of the joys of the holiday season is hearing songs that come around only once a year, says the report. The holiday song that people most look forward to hearing this time of year is Silent Night, followed by White Christmas. The rest of the top ten include, in order:

  • Oh Holy Night
  • Jingle Bells
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • Joy to the World
  • Silver Bells
  • I'll be Home for Christmas
  • The Christmas Song
  • Carol of the Bells

By the end of the holiday season, the top song people wish they would never hear again is Jingle Bells. This is followed by Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, White Christmas, and Little Drummer Boy.

Besides holiday songs, there are animated specials and holiday movies that invade televisions each year. The favorite holiday animated TV special are bunched near the top, with:

  • 23% of Americans choose the flying reindeer with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as their favorite
  • 22% say it is all about the Whos in Whoville and How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • 20% like the sad little Christmas tree and A Charlie Brown Christmas

Favorite Animated Holiday TV Special (% of Respondents)

 

Total

Generation

 

2006

2009

Echo Boomers (18-32)

Gen X (33-44)

BabyBoomers (45-63)

Matures (64+)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

26%

23%

21%

25%

25%

16%

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

21

22

27

27

19

12

A Charlie Brown Christmas

24

20

18

16

21

 25

Frosty the Snowman

8

10

11

12

8

11

The Year Without a Santa Claus

3

4

6

4

3

2

None of these

19

22

17

15

24

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: HarrisPoll, November 2009

When it comes to holiday movies, two are tied for favorite:

  • 21% like the quest for a BB gun in A Christmas Story and the same number like watching Clarence the angel earn his wings in It's a Wonderful Life

For Echo Boomers and Gen Xers, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is their favorite animated special, while for Baby Boomers it's Rudolph. For Matures, A Charlie Brown Christmas is number one. There is a clear generational divide for movies as well. Echo Boomers and Gen Xers sayA Christmas Story is their favorite, while for Baby Boomers and Matures, it's A Wonderful Life.

For the complete release in PDF format, please visit Harris Interactive here.

2 comments about "Between Bah And Humbug Are My Favorite Things".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ron Shevlin from Aite Group, December 22, 2009 at 9:02 a.m.

    Only 8% look forward to holiday dinners and parties? Only 2% look forward to getting presents? There's something wrong with these numbers. Like an "8" or "9" in front of them, maybe?

  2. Jenni Lawrence from MailSouth, December 22, 2009 at 10:15 a.m.

    LOL...I was just blogging about Bah Humbug yesterday and wish I'd have included this in my rant!! LOL!!

Next story loading loading..