USA Today reports on a LifeWay survey about the reasons people like to celebrate at Christmas.
Come-all-ye-partiers trumps OCome, All Ye Faithful for more than one in three people asked about their Christmas activities in a survey by LifeWay Research, a Nashville-based Christian research organization.
"A lot of Americans celebrate Christmas like they participate in yoga: unaware and unconcerned about its religious roots," says Ed Stetzer, LifeWay president and a Southern Baptist pastor.
Although 37% say Christmas is more religious when children are present, 43% says it's less so.
"That's not surprising when more people encourage belief in Santa Claus (38%) than tell the Gospel story (28%) that undergirds the whole of Christianity," Stetzer says.
Many Millennials, ages 18 to 29, have switched the lights off on the Nativity scene.
More than half (56%) say their Christmas is "primarily" religious; three in four (74%) told LifeWay many of the things they enjoy this season "have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus."
"Christmas is no longer about baby Jesus and the sheep. It's solstice with friends, Saturnalia at the office party. At Thanksgiving, you say grace, but at Christmas, you take a break and you go on vacation. It's been downgraded on the religion calendar," says Barry Kosmin, director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
What do you see happening in your community? How do you get the story out to others?