What is the biggest thing you look forward to during the Christmas holiday season?

The recent Harris Poll, which goes out and calculates this sort of thing, surveyed 2,151 adults online between November 8 and 15, 2010 and came up with the following figures that you just may be interested in.

Almost three in five Americans (58%) say the one thing they most look forward to with the holidays is spending time with family and friends. One in ten say it is holiday dinners and parties (9%) and fewer numbers say they most look forward to finding and giving presents (6%), putting up holiday decorations (5%), watching television specials, hearing holiday songs on the radio (5%) and getting presents (3%). One in ten U.S. adults (9%) say they do not look forward to the upcoming holidays.

Dislikes of the holiday season

While one in five people who celebrate holidays say they like everything about the holiday season (18%), the holiday season also brings things that people dislike. Over one-quarter of those who celebrate the holidays say the one thing they dislike the most about the holidays is spending too much money (27%) while 24% say it is the holiday shopping crowds. Fewer than one in ten say the one thing they dislike is putting up and then taking down holiday decorations (8%), finding and giving presents (5%), eating and drinking too much (5%), television specials and holiday songs (4%), and spending time with family and friends (2%).

Holiday songs

While they may start playing them earlier and earlier, hearing holiday songs is one of the joys of this season. The holiday song that people most look forward to hearing this time of year is Silent Night, followed by White Christmas, Oh Holy Night, Jingle Bells and Little Drummer Boy. Rounding out the top ten holiday songs people look forward to are Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, The Christmas Song, I’ll be Home for Christmas, Joy to the World and Jingle Bell Rock.

But one person’s favorite holiday song may leave others wishing to not hear a holiday ever again. By the end of the holiday season, the top song people wish they would never hear again is Jingle Bells. This is followed by Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and then a tie between White Christmas and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Rounding out the top ten holiday songs people wish they could never hear again by the end of the season are The Twelve Days of Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, a tie between We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Alvin and the Chipmunks and then Silent Night. It’s interesting to note that five songs are on both top ten lists, including the number one song on both lists.

Holiday specials and movies

Holiday songs aren’t the only things that pop up this time of year. There are also endless replays of old animated specials as well as holiday movies. And everyone has their favorite. Three holiday animated TV special are bunched near the top – 24% of Americans choose the flying reindeer with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as their favorite, 22% say it is all about the Whos in Whoville and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and 20% like the sad little Christmas tree and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Just under one in ten say Frosty the Snowman is their favorite animated special (9%) and 4% love the bickering of Heat Miser and Cold Miser in The Year Without a Santa Claus.

When it comes to holiday movies, almost one-quarter of Americans (23%) say watching Clarence the angel earn his wings in It’s a Wonderful Life is their favorite and one in five (19%) enjoy the quest for a BB gun in A Christmas Story. Just under one in five Americans say believing in Santa with Miracle on 34th Street (17%) is their favorite while 13% enjoy the Griswold family Christmas in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and 8% enjoy watching Tim Allen transform in The Santa Clause.

So What?

The holidays are often a stressful time, but they are also a time to give people a chance to get together with friends and family. Often times a favorite song or show can prompt holiday memories from long ago. Or hearing one of these favorite songs can help ease some of the hectic seasonal scheduling so many Americans have to deal with this time of year.