The staff at the “Cecil Guardian” newspaper would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holidays throughout this special season.
While the American melting pot includes many religions and traditions, a recent survey of consumers showed that about 90% of those who responded said they do celebrate the Christmas holiday. Half of those celebrating Christmas say their celebrations are primarily focused on the religious aspects of the day. Most Americans have noticed that the religious reason for the Christmas season is often lost in the Santa Claus, gift-centric celebrations.
Each year, social media posts include complaints that people do not greet them with “Merry Christmas.” Some say they are upset at hearing “Happy Holidays.” A survey showed that half of the American public has no problem with being wished Happy Holidays. Only one-third of people select Merry Christmas as their standard greeting, down from more than 40% five years ago.
The Christmas tree is always the centerpiece of home holiday decor. A cut or live evergreen tree continues to be more popular than an artificial tree. More than 27 million real Christmas trees were sold last year, compared to 18.5 million artificial Christmas trees. This year, many people had to cope with higher live Christmas tree prices due to shortages.
People are feeling more generous this year, when compared to last year, when it comes to gift spending. Last year, people expressed the intention to spend about $800 on Christmas gifts. This year, consumers anticipate spending a bit more than $900 on gifts.
Tech gadgets continue to be quite popular for both young and old. It used to be that all people had to do was get up in the middle of the night to wait in line at stores for the top gadgets and toys. Now, a click of the computer mouse can help assure success in the marketplace. But many parents are frustrated that they cannot get the “it” toy coveted by their youngsters. Some dubious entrepreneurs have captured large numbers of the popular toys from retailers and are selling them at a profit.
But whatever your Christmas decorations are and no matter what gifts are wrapped and ready under the tree, Christmas is still a time for traditions.
Throughout the county, state and nation, cookies are being baked and stockpiled for the coming week and beyond. The turkey, ham, prime rib, lasagna or other delicacies will soon be hitting the ovens. The aromas of the food and the display of food and presents will leave lasting memories.
There will be toasts, laughter and political disputes during Christmas mealtimes. There will be champagne, egg nog, plus glasses of milk for Santa.
Let us remember those in need at Christmas time.
Here’s hoping all of your important people can make it home for this festive holiday week.