Silent Night is the Holiday Song People Most Look Forward to Each Year

    New York, N.Y. – December 16, 2010 – Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, boughs of holly and sleigh bells ringing: the holiday season is upon us and everyone has favorite aspects of the season they look forward to this time of year. Almost three in five Americans (58%) say the one thing they most look forward to with the holidays is spending time with family and friends. One in ten say it is holiday dinners and parties (9%) and fewer numbers say they most look forward to finding and giving presents (6%), putting up holiday decorations (5%), watching television specials, hearing holiday songs on the radio (5%) and getting presents (3%). One in ten U.S. adults (9%) say they do not look forward to the upcoming holidays.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,151 adults surveyed online between November 8 and 15, 2010 byHarris Interactive®.

    Dislikes of the holiday season

    While one in five people who celebrate holidays say they like everything about the holiday season (18%), the holiday season also brings things that people dislike. Over one-quarter of those who celebrate the holidays say the one thing they dislike the most about the holidays is spending too much money (27%) while 24% say it is the holiday shopping crowds. Fewer than one in ten say the one thing they dislike is putting up and then taking down holiday decorations (8%), finding and giving presents (5%), eating and drinking too much (5%), television specials and holiday songs (4%), and spending time with family and friends (2%).

    Holiday songs

    While they may start playing them earlier and earlier, hearing holiday songs is one of the joys of this season. The holiday song that people most look forward to hearing this time of year is Silent Night, followed by White Christmas Oh Holy Night Jingle Bells andLittle Drummer Boy. Rounding out the top ten holiday songs people look forward to areGrandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, The Christmas Song, I’ll be Home for Christmas Joy to the World and Jingle Bell Rock.

    But one person’s favorite holiday song may leave others wishing to not hear a holiday ever again. By the end of the holiday season, the top song people wish they would never hear again is Jingle Bells. This is followed by Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and then a tie between White Christmas and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Rounding out the top ten holiday songs people wish they could never hear again by the end of the season are The Twelve Days of Christmas Jingle Bell Rock, a tie between We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Alvin and the Chipmunks and then Silent Night. It’s interesting to note that five songs are on both top ten lists, including the number one song on both lists.

    Holiday specials and movies

    Holiday songs aren’t the only things that pop up this time of year. There are also endless replays of old animated specials as well as holiday movies. And everyone has their favorite. Three holiday animated TV special are bunched near the top – 24% of Americans choose the flying reindeer withRudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as their favorite, 22% say it is all about the Whos in Whoville and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and 20% like the sad little Christmas tree and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just under one in ten say Frosty the Snowman is their favorite animated special (9%) and 4% love the bickering of Heat Miser and Cold Miser in The Year Without a Santa Claus.

    When it comes to holiday movies, almost one-quarter of Americans (23%) say watching Clarence the angel earn his wings in It’s a Wonderful Life is their favorite and one in five (19%) enjoy the quest for a BB gun in A Christmas Story. Just under one in five Americans say believing in Santa with Miracle on 34th Street (17%) is their favorite while 13% enjoy the Griswold family Christmas inNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and 8% enjoy watching Tim Allen transform in The Santa Clause.

    So What?

    The holidays are often a stressful time, but they are also a time to give people a chance to get together with friends and family. Often times a favorite song or show can prompt holiday memories from long ago. Or hearing one of these favorite songs can help ease some of the hectic seasonal scheduling so many Americans have to deal with this time of year.

     

    TABLE 1

    LOOKING FORWARD TO THE HOLIDAYS

    Thinking of the upcoming holiday season, what is the one thing you most look forward to?

    Base: All adults

    2007

    2009

    2010

    Generation

    Echo Boomers

    (18-33)

    Gen X

    (34-45)

    Baby Boomers

    (46-64)

    Matures

    (65+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Spending time with family and friends

    66

    62

    58

    55

    55

    59

    66

    Holiday dinners and parties

    9

    8

    9

    9

    11

    9

    6

    Finding and giving presents

    6

    7

    6

    8

    8

    4

    3

    Putting up holiday decorations

    n/a

    3

    5

    5

    8

    4

    6

    Watching television specials and hearing holiday songs on the radio

    4

    4

    5

    5

    6

    4

    6

    Getting presents

    1

    2

    3

    8

    2

    1

    I do not celebrate any upcoming holidays

    2

    2

    2

    1

     

    2

    2

    I don’t look forward to the upcoming holidays

    9

    8

    9

    5

    6

    14

    10

    Not sure/Other

    3

    4

    3

    4

    4

    3

    1

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding

    Note: = less than 0.5% and – indicates no response


    TABLE 2

    WHAT PEOPLE DISLIKE ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS

    Still thinking of the upcoming holiday season, what is the one thing you dislike most about the holidays?

    Base: Celebrate Holidays

    2009

    2010

    Generation

    Echo Boomers

    (18-33)

    Gen X

    (34-45)

    Baby Boomers

    (46-64)

    Matures

    (65+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Spending too much money

    27

    27

    28

    31

    29

    18

    The holiday shopping crowds

    23

    24

    20

    27

    27

    19

    Putting up and then taking down holiday decorations

    6

    8

    7

    8

    7

    14

    Finding and giving presents

    4

    5

    4

    5

    6

    7

    Eating and drinking too much

    4

    5

    8

    3

    4

    3

    Television specials and holiday songs

    5

    4

    7

    4

    2

    4

    Spending time with family and friends

    2

    2

    4

    2

    1

    1

    I like everything about the holiday season

    21

    18

    14

    14

    18

    29

    Other

    8

    6

    7

    6

    5

    6

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding

     

    TABLE 3

    HOLIDAY SONG PEOPLE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING

    While you may enjoy many, which one holiday song do you really look forward to hearing when the holiday season comes around each year?

    Unprompted responses

    Base: All adults

    2007

    2009

    2010

    Silent Night

    1

    1

    1

    White Christmas

    2

    2

    2

    Oh Holy Night

    3

    3

    3

    Jingle Bells

    4

    4

    4

    Little Drummer Boy

    =6

    5

    5

    Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

    n/a

    n/a

    6

    The Christmas Song

    5

    6

    7

    I’ll Be Home for Christmas

    8

    9

    8

    Joy to the World

    =10

    7

    9

    Jingle Bell Rock

    n/a

    n/a

    10

    = indicates a tie; n/a indicates not on list that year

    Dropped off the list from 2009 – Silver Bells (was no. 8) and Carol of the Bells (was no. 10)


    TABLE 4

    HOLIDAY SONG THAT SHOULD GO AWAY

    By the end of the holiday season, which one holiday song do you wish you could never hear again?

    Unprompted responses

    Base: All adults

    2007

    2009

    2010

    Jingle Bells

    1

    1

    1

    Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

    2

    2

    2

    Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer

    3

    3

    3

    White Christmas

    4

    4

    =4

    I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

    7

    n/a

    =4

    The Twelve Days of Christmas

    6

    6

    6

    Jingle Bell Rock

    5

    7

    7

    We Wish You a Merry Christmas

    =9

    n/a

    =8

    Alvin & The Chipmunks

    n/a

    10

    =8

    Silent Night

    =9

    8

    10

    = indicates a tie; n/a indicates not on list that year

    Dropped off the list from 2009 – Little Drummer Boy (was no. 5) and Here Comes Santa Claus (was no. 9)

    TABLE5

    FAVORITE ANIMATED HOLIDAY TV SPECIAL

    Which of these is your favorite holiday animated TV special?

    Base: All Adults

    2006

    2009

    2010

    Generation

    Echo

    Boomers

    (18-33)

    Gen X

    (34-45)

    Baby

    Boomers

    (46-64)

    Matures

    (65+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    26

    23

    24

    18

    35

    28

    15

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    21

    22

    22

    30

    20

    21

    13

    A Charlie Brown Christmas

    24

    20

    20

    20

    18

    23

    16

    Frosty the Snowman

    8

    10

    9

    7

    7

    8

    15

    The Year Without a Santa Claus

    3

    4

    4

    5

    6

    2

    1

    None of these

    19

    22

    22

    21

    13

    18

    41

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.


    TABLE 6

    FAVORITEHOLIDAY MOVIE

    Which of these is your favorite holiday movie?

    Base: All Adults

    2006

    2009

    2010

    Generation

    Echo

    Boomers

    (18-33)

    Gen X

    (34-45)

    Baby

    Boomers

    (46-64)

    Matures

    (65+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    It’s a Wonderful Life

    21

    21

    23

    14

    20

    30

    30

    A Christmas Story

    20

    21

    19

    23

    26

    15

    14

    Miracle on 34th Street

    23

    17

    17

    9

    10

    23

    26

    National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

    12

    13

    13

    19

    20

    9

    6

    The Santa Clause

    11

    9

    8

    14

    8

    6

    1

    None of these

    13

    20

    19

    21

    17

    17

    23

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States November 8 and 15, 2010 among 2,151 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J39117

    Q980, 985, 990, 993, 995, 997

    The Harris Poll ® #153, December 16, 2010

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

    About Harris Interactive

    Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.