2023 Christmas Polls Reveal More Folks Believe in Santa Than Jesus

The Christmas (Custom) Charts are back!

Last year we revealed your present-opening tendencies and just how much you hate Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe. This year we’ve got your feelings on Mariah Carey, Santa, and the true meaning of Christmas.

Once again we’re using data visualization, courtesy of our dashboard reporting app Custom Charts for Jira, to turn the stats from our 2023 LinkedIn polls into an engaging Christmas (data) story. So, warm up something mulled, get those chestnuts roasting, and we’ll begin.

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

Who goes to church on Christmas?

Custom Charts Table Chart of Christmas polls

Not many of us, it seems!

These days, Christmas is an entirely secular holiday for a lot of people. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Christmas movie or song make any reference to Jesus or the Nativity. Christmas movies are usually about Santa, elves, presents, Christmas trees, family dramas, kids getting accidentally left at home by vacationing parents, and poor John McClane dealing with a ho-ho-hostage situation at the Nakatomi Plaza on Christmas Eve.

If Christmas isn’t to do with Jesus anymore, why would people go to church? As you can see from the Custom Charts table above, 64% of voters agreed that they don’t, for that very reason. Only 14% answered “Yes, it’s the point”.

23% said they like to go for the carol singing though. That’s understandable. Some of those tunes are iconic and great for getting in the festive mood. People are just paying less and less attention to the lyrics.

Maybe it’s fair that it’s gone this way. You could argue that many aspects of Christmas aren’t Christian anyway. December 25th was the birthday of the Roman sun god Sol Invictus and a widely held theory is that early Christians appropriated the festival by choosing that date, to assert their superiority over the pagans. And Christmas trees, gift-giving, mistletoe, and Santa Claus all have pagan origins.

Does Mariah Carey deserve to be called “Queen of Christmas”?

Custom Charts Pie Chart of Christmas polls

Last year a funny thing happened. Mariah Carey already earns about $3 million every year in royalties for her festive classic, All I Want For Christmas is You, a song she released in 1994. That doesn’t include everything she makes off her Christmas album sales, Christmas TV specials, tours, performances, and merch.

But in 2022, Mariah decided that wasn’t enough and sought to trademark the title “Queen of Christmas” so she could sell goods under the banner. A number of other singers, including Darlene Love and Elizabeth Chan, had a problem with Mariah trying to monopolize Christmas and her trademark application was rejected.

In our 2nd Christmas poll we asked you all if Mariah deserves the title for releasing one good Christmas song (let’s face it, the vast majority of her others are covers). It was neck and neck but 53% of you agreed that no, she doesn’t. Fair, really. Maybe if Mariah put a bit more effort into original Christmas tracks rather than banging out the same ole tune every year…

What do people love about Christmas?

Custom Charts Tile Chart of Christmas Polls

We could’ve made this a longer list, as there’s lots to love about Christmas (well, unless you’re a Grinch). Sadly, LinkedIn polls limit you to four answers (bah humbug, LinkedIn).

Of the four answers we did include, the Custom Charts tile chart above reveals that the majority of voters (50%) picked Christmas food. Apparently it’s all that cinnamon and gingerbread and turkey with cranberry sauce that really gets people excited for the festive season. 38% voted for giving and receiving gifts, which makes sense since buying, making, and wrapping presents is what we spend most of the holiday season doing.

In joint last place with only 6% were Christmas songs and Christmas movies. Oh dear. Maybe people really have had enough of Mariah and Michael Bublé. And Elf and Home Alone. (Not Die Hard, though, surely?)

Age people stop believing in Santa Claus

Custom Charts Line Chart of Christmas Polls

You might want to immediately click away from this article if your kids are present, because this is a sensitive one.

We asked what age people stopped believing in Santa Claus. The Custom Charts line chart above displays the surprising results. According to this year’s polls, more people believe in Santa Claus than Jesus at Christmas time, with 38% of voters insisting that the jolly old elf is the real deal.

A similar number (36%) admitted that they stopped believing between the ages of 5 and 10. A few stopped believing later or earlier, and it does make me wonder how many 15-year-old Santa believers are out there.

Ha, according to these results, there are Santa believers way older, so who am I to judge.

Reasons for ending up on Santa’s naughty list

Custom Charts Funnel Chart of Christmas Polls

You can see from the Custom Charts funnel chart above that most of our voters did such a naughty thing in 2023 that they’re not gonna tell us about it. The next biggest reason y’all might be getting lumps of coal in your stockings is for bad behaviour on social media. (Who wants to bet Chris Cooke voted for this one? I mean, you all saw our EazyBI dinosaur ad :rofl:).

It looks like things have calmed down a bit at the work Christmas parties, since these were famed for being hotbeds of naughtiness in days gone by. Maybe it’s because so many of them are on Zoom. And apparently most of us are very good girls and boys when we’re working from home. (Are we? Are we though? :wink:)

Jira Dashboard of Christmas Polls Custom Charts

So there you have it. Here’s a Jira dashboard that’s merry and bright with all those Santastic charts.

Before I jingle on my way, I’ll simply say, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good God if I hear Mariah Carey one more time I’m going to slaughter a reindeer. Ho ho no.

Mariah Carey meme

Christopher is a self-confessed nerd who’d probably take the cake on Mastermind if Star Trek: Voyager was his specialist subject. He writes fiction about time travel, conspiracies and aliens; loves roller coasters, hiking and Christmas; and hates carpet, rom-coms and anything with chilli in it. He’s written extensively for technology companies and Atlassian partners and specializes in translating complicated technical concepts, specs and jargon into readable, benefits-driven copy that casual readers will understand.