New Yorkers: charitable, like friends and artificial trees, don't believe in Santa Claus

christmas tree in shop windowA bunch of holiday bits from the Siena survey out today:

+ 67 percent of people said they are excited about the holiday season; 32 percent said they're not.

+ 34 percent of people said they're cutting back their holiday spending this year compared to last (37 percent said they were last year). Seven percent said they're increasing (compared to 4 percent last year).

+ 23 percent of people said their financial situation is better compared to last year; 30 percent said it's worse.

+ 26 percent said they plan to spend $1,000+ on gifts.

+ 19 percent of people said they shop on the day after Thanksgiving.

+ 57 percent said they planned to do at least some online shopping -- and of those people, 30 percent said it was because of crowds.

+ 59 percent said they try to buy gifts from locally-owned and operated businesses.

+ 77 percent said they would be making a charitable contribution this season; 30 percent said they'd be volunteering.

+ What people enjoy most about the holidays: 77 percent said spending time with family and friends. What people enjoy the least: 39 percent said the commercialization of the holidays. (Takeaway: your family and friends would probably rather you make time for them than buy them a gift.)

+ 63 percent said they think the holiday decorations and ads start too soon.

+ Most often used greeting: Merry Christmas (53 percent), Happy Holidays (37 percent).

+ "I hate to admit it but at this point I'm more Scrooge than Santa." Agree/disagree: 23/67.

+ Among people who put up a Christmas tree, 59 percent say they go artificial.

+ "Would you say you believe in Santa Claus or not?"" Believe: 30 percent. Do not believe: 69 percent.

Margin of error +/- 3.9.


"I hate to admit it but at this point I'm more Scrooge than Santa." Agree/disagree: 23/67.

What is the split of the that 67% who don't hate to admit it?

If you don't believe in Santa Claus or have a real Christmas Tree (I assume most ignore why we celebrate Christmas), what's the point?

Soo once again, we see that a higher percentage of people say their financial situation is worse now than it was a year ago. Happy Thanksgiving.

@Jiminy - agreed

Glad to see that more than half try to shop local!

Jiminy, seriously? What a snobby attitude. Real X-mas trees require a lot of care and are messy. I don't begrudge my senior citizen-parents for opting for an artificial tree instead. It doesn't make them any less appreciative of the true spirit of the holiday.

Spammers in the inbox nailed it.

We can't afford to buy a real tree. Sure the fake one is pitiful when bare but you pile enough on it and its lovely. It has served us well through 6 happy Christmases and one massive knock-over engineered by my preschooler and toddler. Best $19 I ever spent.

We aren't elderly and could afford to buy a real tree - but why would we? I have no interest in cutting down something that is alive and has been growing for years just to stick in my house for a couple of weeks. It's the same reason I have flowers in pots instead of cut in a vase. :)

But in any case, this is a fun use of statistics and surveys.

RC, real trees are much more environmentally friendly than artificial.

Not only are artificial trees made primarily out of petroleum products with fairly large manufacturing footprints before they even get to the store, but they'll eventually just wind up in a landfill. Real trees are usually farmed on relatively small plots (you're not tearing up an ecosystem to get your tree), and can either be "recycled" (mulch/compost), or when disposed of outdoors become valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife. On top of that, properly managed tree farms increase biodiversity and are almost exclusively small, local businesses.

Buy a real tree... think of the little, teary-eyed birds.

Growing up, my Father was very much against the artificial Christmas tree and everything he believed it stood for, so every year, he'd go out with hatchet and saw and vow to bring back a "whole real Christmas tree" for the family. He never had the heart to actually cut one down though, telling us that the tree, if allowed to live, would remain alive for "at least another hundred years".

So all we would get was a snippet of one for the mantle... just a branch, if you will. Sure, the other kids would make fun of us, but come the sudden floods of 'aught six, our property had enough standing timber to withstand the soil erosion brought about by those swift and terrible waters. Most of the other kid's homes were not so lucky.

Sometimes, on moonless nights in December, you can stand out on the banks and hear their drowned carolling drifting up from the river bottom, like some Christmas nightmare.

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