Hold the 'Bah! Humbug' Washington. We'll take holiday happiness

Is there a Bah! Humbug! sentiment in the D.C. area or are people here filled with holiday cheer?

A new WTOP/Heart+Mind Strategies Beltway Poll says the majority of D.C. area residents will be celebrating the holidays and displaying a Christmas tree.

Nine out of 10 residents also say they prefer to give than receive.

The poll also finds:

• Eighty-nine percent (89%) of area residents will be celebrating Christmas, with 8% celebrating Hanukah and 3% Kwanzaa.

• Seventy-four percent (74%) will display a Christmas tree, of whom 28% say it will be real and 42% say it will be artificial.
o Inside the District only 5 out of 10 (56%) will display a tree.

• Fully 9 out of 10 (91%) prefer to give than to receive during the holidays.

• Surprisingly, 7 out of 10 (72%) DC metro area residents say they WILL NOT visit the National Christmas Tree.
o But, the National Christmas Tree in D.C. can expect most of its visitors to come from the District and Virginia this year. DC (35%) and Virginia (30%) residents are more likely than those in Maryland (19%) to plan on visiting.

• Fifty-one percent (51%) prefer stores to use "Merry Christmas" versus 36% who prefer "Happy Holidays".
o Residents in Virginia (61%) and Maryland (50%) tend to prefer store signs saying “Merry Christmas” while those living in DC prefer “Happy Holidays” (53% in DC).
•Eighty percent (80%) of Military veterans and 83% of Republicans plan to display a holiday tree, compared to 70% of Democrats and 69% of Independents.

• 68% of Conservatives overwhelmingly prefer "Merry Christmas", compared to only 36% of Moderates/Liberals.

By Darci Marchese, with data collected by Heart+Mind Strategies, a non-partisan market research consultancy based in Reston

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