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Fewer people participate in traditional Christmas activities, study shows

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 More than half of Americans now view Christmas as a cultural occasion, as opposed to a religious holiday (iStock)Singing carols, sending Christmas cards, putting out cookies and milk for Santa: these are all traditional holiday activities that many grew up loving.

Unfortunately for the most festive among us, it appears as though the spirit of Christmas isn't as strong as it used to be.

A new Pew Research study surveyed American adults who celebrate Christmas to ask them whether or not they still participate in the same holiday traditions as they did when they were children -- everything from putting up a Christmas tree to baking special treats.

The results show that there was a significant drop in every single category.

Roughly 65 per cent of respondents said that they'd be sending holiday cards this year, as opposed to 81 per cent who did so as children. Seventy-one per cent said they'd be putting up a tree, as opposed to 92 per cent of those who did as kids.

The most dramatic drop-off was seen when respondents were asked if they still pretend that Santa Claus will be visiting their homes on Christmas Eve.

Only 31 per cent of people said yes, while 72 per cent celebrated that tradition as children.

Also interesting was the finding that more than half of Americans now view Christmas as a cultural occasion, as opposed to a religious holiday -- particularly those under the age of 30.

"This is consistent with other research showing that younger Americans are helping to drive the growth of the religiously unaffiliated population within the U.S.," wrote the Pew Research Centre. "But the new survey also shows that even among Christians, young people are more likely than older adults to view Christmas as more of a cultural than a religious holiday."

A few holiday activities did stand the test of time better than others.

Eighty-six per cent of respondents still plan to attend a gathering with family or friends on Christmas Day, and 86 per cent also intend to buy gifts for their loved ones.

Do you still celebrate the holiday traditions of your childhood? Or have they fallen by the wayside? Share your stories with us below.

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