Though 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, Pew Research Center found just over half consider it a religious holiday. That's down four percent from 2013.
Just 55-percent of Americans celebrate Christmas to honor the birth of Christ, while 33-percent now consider it a cultural holiday.
“Decades of commercialism, elevating presents and Santa Clause over the Christ-nature of Christmas, but when you add to that the diversification of our culture, other religions increasing in numbers and church attendance as declined,” says Dave Pastor with the Houston Area Pastor Council.
Dr. Shannon Holzer at Houston Baptist University also points out a geographical and political divide. “New York is quite far left and very multi-cultural, there are many Jewish, Muslims and Indians, so of course it would reflect they don't believe in certain tenets of Christianity, but if you took the survey down to Mississippi or Alabama you might find something different.”
Welch says even for non-believers, the Spirit of Christ holds true today.
“It is about family, about gathering together and remembering those things that are good in man and celebrate giving,” he says. “But we have to remember those are residuals of the Christian faith that have been spread through our culture.”
Even your office Secret Santa is based on the belief that Saint Nicholas himself was a legendary secret gift-giver.
“That brings out humility in us, that we have to give something to somebody without actually getting the glory of giving it ourselves,” says Holzer.