According to the results of a survey released today, 94 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. For most, this will be a time for traditions. Whether it is watching a classic movie, reading a Christmas poem or short story, or opening up the pages of Scripture, traditions will play an integral part of their holiday celebrations.
The new survey commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted online by Harris Interactive in November 2013 among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+ found that while 30 percent make a tradition of watching the 1983 film A Christmas Storyand 28 percent look forward to watching a film or TV version of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, just 15 percent say reading the Bible’s account of the birth of Christ is part of their holiday traditions.
“There is nothing wrong with enjoying some of the great Christmas films that have been made over the decades,” says American Bible Society Chief Communications Officer Geoffrey Morin. “It is just important that Christians don’t make holiday celebrations more about Scrooge and Ralphie than about Jesus.”
The survey also found that knowledge of the biblical account of Christmas was lacking. Fewer than half of Americans (42 percent) were able to correctly identify what the Bible says brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth—reporting for a census. Worse still, just 28 percent of those ages 18-34 knew the right answer.
“Everything we know about Christmas comes from the pages of the Bible,” said Morin. “I hope these survey findings will encourage people to take a step back and consider making the biblical account of Christmas part of their celebrations.”