DETROIT (WWJ) – With Christmas on the door step, a recent survey finds Americans by a wide margin prefer the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting to the non-specific “Happy Holidays.”

The Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll found that nearly two-thirds of adults nationally – 64 percent – think people should say, “Merry Christmas,” while less than one-third – 31 percent – believe the appropriate greeting is “Happy Holidays.” Four percent are unsure.

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The proportion that prefers “Merry Christmas” increased slightly this year. Last year, 61 percent thought “Merry Christmas” was the more appropriate greeting while 35 percent preferred “Happy Holidays.” Five percent, at that time, were unsure.

“That we prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ by such a wide margin is indicative of the importance that Christmas has in the lives of the great majority of Americans,” Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a release.

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“For that vast majority of Americans who observe Christmas, this day and season are a time for us to celebrate the fact that God exists and is with us. Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ allows us to celebrate that fact with joy, and to share our joy with our loved ones and neighbors,” he said.

This Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll surveyed 1,026 adults and was conducted Nov. 8-10, 2011 and has a margin of error within +/- 3 percentage points.

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