Half of Canadians Expect Fun, Not Stressful, Holiday Season

“Merry Christmas” is still the preferred greeting, but “Happy Holidays” is gaining ground among the youngest adults.  

Vancouver, BC [December 21, 2021] – Compared to last year, more Canadians think the holiday season will be a time of joy and excitement, a new Research Co. poll has found.  

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 49% of Canadians say they expect this time of the year to be “more fun than stressful”, up 19 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in December 2020.  

Only 27% of Canadians (-10) believe this holiday season will be “more stressful than fun”, while 24% (+9) are undecided.  

“Majorities of Quebecers (53%) and Ontarians (51%) expect the current holiday season to be more fun than stressful,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is lower in Alberta (46%) and British Columbia (41%).”  

More than three-in-five Canadians (62%, -6) state that “Merry Christmas” is their preferred greeting for the season, while 20% (+6) say “Happy Holidays” is their favourite.  

Significant majorities of Canadians of all age groups favour “Merry Christmas“ as a greeting. “Happy Holidays” is more popular with Canadians aged 18-to-34 (24%) than among their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (21%) and 55 and over (14%).  

When Canadians are asked about six components of their lives, majorities say that “family” (78%, -2) and “friends” (54%, =) are “very important” to them personally.  

More than two-in-five Canadians (44%) say “country” is “very important” to them, down 10 points since 2020. Fewer of the country’s residents feel the same way about  “career” (29%, =), “religion” (22%, -2) and “affluence” (11%, =).  

Practically half of Canadians (49%, -3) say they are “very” or “moderately” spiritual—a proportion that rises to 52% among women, 53% among those aged 55 and over and 53% among Albertans.  

Across Canada, almost one-in-five residents (18%) say they are “atheist” or “agnostic”, including 23% of Ontarians and 24% of British Columbians. Half of Canadians (50%, -6) describe themselves as Christian.  

One third of Canadians (33%, +3) say they never attend religious services. The proportion rises to 35% in Quebec and 38% in British Columbia.  

When asked about specific delicacies that are usually enjoyed during the holiday season, at least half of Canadians say they like turkey (84%), cranberry sauce (64%), Brussels sprouts (62%), fruit cake (56%), egg nog (54%) and mince pies (50%). Fewer Canadians express a preference for plum pudding (43%) and mulled wine (34%).  

There is a marked gender gap when Canadians ponder egg nog, with 60% of men saying they like the beverage compared to only 48% of women. In fact, Canadian women are more likely to “definitely dislike” egg nog (32%) than to “definitely like” it (27%).

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 8 to December 10, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.