Word Christmas Stronger than Ever in Global Media

Contrary to assumption that “Holiday season” pushing Christmas aside

Austin, TX December 23, 2008 (Update) – The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has found that contrary to the assumption that the word Christmas is being pushed aside by more secular or politically neutral terms, ‘Christmas’ is used over 600% more than ‘Holiday Season’ in the global media. GLM compared the use of Christmas along with that of ‘Holiday Season,’ ‘Xmas,’ Chanukah’ in a variety of spellings, and ‘Kwanzaa’ (see below for the various spellings of Chanukah).

Since the 2005 season, Christmas has been used in about 85% of all global print and electronic media citations [2008, 84.6%; 2007, 85.5%; 2006, 84.1%; 2005, 84.1%].

In the global media, Christmas accounted for about 84.6% of all citations with Holiday Season following at 12.6%, followed by Xmas (1.5%), Hanukah (0.9%) and Kwanzaa (0.3%). On the Internet, Christmas led with 80.8% followed by Xmas (10.6%), Holiday Season (5.1%), Hanukah (2.5%), and Kwanzaa (0.7%). Note: The X in the word Xmas actually represents the Greek letter CHI, the first two Letters in the name Christ.

Festivus, the fictional holiday created during the hit Seinfeld television series, and Wintervale, sometimes used as a politically neutral substitute for the Christmas season were also measured with negligible results.

GLM tracked the words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere. The analysis also measured the global print and electronic media on its own. The results follow

Global Media Percentage Internet Percentage
Christmas 84.6% Christmas 80.8%
Xmas 1.5% Xmas 10.6%
Holiday Season 12.6% Holiday Season 5.1%
Hannukah 0.9% Hannukah 2.5%
Kwanzaa 0.3% Kwanzaa 0.7%
Festivus 0.03% Festivus 0.1%
Wintervale 0.00% Wintervale 0.001%
Total 100.0% Total 100.0%

“We thought it would prove interesting to see how the holidays are actually represented in the global media,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “We were a bit surprised to see that the much discussed secularization of Christmas in the media was nowhere as widespread as speculated.”

Various Spellings of Chanukah

  • Chanuka
  • Chanukah (Most common in US)
  • Chanukkah
  • Channukah
  • Hanukah
  • Hannukah
  • Hanukkah
  • Hanuka
  • Hanukka
  • Hanaka
  • Haneka
  • Hanika
  • Khanukkah
Added 12/23/09 (thanks to Steven Teitel)

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