A Pew Research Center survey finds three-quarters say they believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, but only about half see Christmas mostly as a religious holiday.
Almost all Christians -- 96 percent -- celebrate Christmas and two-thirds see it as a religious holiday, but 8-in-10 non-Christians in the United States also celebrate Christmas, but most of them view it as a cultural holiday rather than a religious occasion.
Adults age 30 and younger are far less likely than older Americans to say they see Christmas as more of a religious than a cultural holiday. They are also less likely to attend Christmas religious services and to believe in the virgin birth.
Americans celebrate Christmas present based on Christmases past. Eighty-six percent of U.S. adults say they intend to gather with family and friends on Christmas this year, and an identical number say they plan to buy gifts for friends and family. About 9-in-10 adults say these activities typically were part of their holiday celebrations when growing up.
However, fewer U.S. adults say they will send Christmas or holiday cards this year compared to their families typically did this when they were children. The number of people who plan to go caroling this year also is lower than the share who says they typically did so as children.
Seventy-nine percent say they are putting up a Christmas tree this year, compared to 92 percent who said their family put up a tree when they were growing up.
Almost 7-in-10 U.S. adults say what they look forward to most on Christmas is spending time with family and friends, 11 percent said the religious reflection/going to church and 7 percent looked forward to people being more happy or joyful.
The Pew Research survey was conducted Dec. 3-8 among a representative sample of 2,001 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.