Opinion: Most Americans like ‘Merry Christmas’ these days, but not Barack and Michelle Obama


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A survey of adult Americans finds that an overwhelming majority prefer the seasonal expression ‘Merry Christmas.’ More than seven out of ten, in fact.

Twenty-two percent, according to Rasmussen Reports, go for ‘Happy Holidays.’


However, the Barack Obama family, spending its first December holidays in the White House, apparently doesn’t like either one. And these results, it turns out, can be revealing about political persuasions too.

They won’t actually spend the holiday in the White House. The Obamas with numerous family and friends will be on a rented beachfront in Hawaii when Christmas Day actually gets here. But the new first couple has just mailed thousands of greeting cards that say simply, ‘Season’s Greetings.’

They’re cream-colored, maroon-bordered cards showing a gold wreath wrapped around the presidential coat of arms.

The Obamas’ card, paid for by the Democratic National Committee, makes no religious reference whatsoever. ‘May your family have a joyous holiday season,’ says the Obamas’ greeting, ‘and a new year blessed with hope and happiness.’ This comes after reports that, initially anyway, the Obama White House planned its first Christmas to be a ‘non-religious’ one, kind of like a non-sports Super Bowl Sunday.

The Clintons often sent cards with artist’s depictions of White House rooms. The most recent Bush presidential family preferred to include favorite biblical passages.

Actually, the choice of presidential card styles accurately reflects the political inclinations of their party. The recent Rasmussen Reports survey, measuring the expressions as seen through preferences of holiday signs, found that 70% of independents and 91% of Republicans prefer ‘Merry Christmas.’


While only 58% of Democrats do.

Not surprisingly, older Americans prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ more. But intriguingly, the percentages are up across the board in 2009 for all preferences -- perhaps reflecting who-knows-what, holiday greeting polarization too? Last year 84% of Republicans and only 51% of Democrats preferred ‘Merry Christmas.’

Oh, btw, did we mention that best-selling Republican author Sarah Palin‘s favorable ratings are up again, to 46% from 39% last summer? And Obama’s job approval has slid some more down at the 50% level -- and below even, faster than any new president since Harry Truman.

Anyway, Merry Seasonal Holiday Christmas Greetings to most of you.-- Andrew Malcolm

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