CANADA
12/16/2013 05:00 EST | Updated 02/14/2014 05:59 EST

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Canadians choose one

Every time December rolls around, a small debate crops up over whether people should be wishing each other "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays."

Polling firm Angus Reid Global wanted to get a sense of the language people use, especially when it comes to the term "holidays" versus "Christmas," and in an online survey of 1,508 Canadians, there were some interesting results.

Despite a minority of Canadians saying they identify with the religious aspect of Christmas, a huge majority feel this time of year is too commercial and, in most provinces, they choose to reject the term "holidays" in favour of "Christmas."

Angus Reid Global's Shachi Kurl spoke with CBC Radio's Stephen Quinn on On The Coast this week to explain what her firm found.

"Overwhelmingly, in every province across the country, we saw that Canadians do say that they prefer to think of, and they do think of, this time of year as Christmas," Kurl said. "The only place where there was a little bit of a split was Quebec."

While just under 60 per cent of Quebecers polled said they prefer to use the term "Christmas" over "Holiday Season," over 90 per cent of those polled in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces prefer the more-traditional term.

Kurl said even non-Christians polled said they plan to do Christmas-like activities, such as spending time with family and friends and giving back to the community. Fewer than a third of those polled said they planned to attend a religious service.

Overall, without much difference across the provinces, 83 per cent of those polled said they feel that the way Canadian culture celebrates December 25th is too commercial. Only 13 per cent said the celebration is "too religious."