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Why on earth don’t the French like Christmas?

French soccer fans
Reuters/Robert Pratta
They don’t want any cheer, thanks.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

A recent survey conducted by YouGov revealed that most French people are not planning to have themselves a merry little Christmas. When asked if they were looking forward to Christmas this year, 57% of French respondents said they were not—far more than any other country polled.

In a separate poll, 68% of Americans said they were looking forward to the holidays.

YouGov says that France’s general lack of Christmas spirit could be because of discontent with government, weak economic growth, and anxiety over immigration.

But France is hardly the only European country dealing with these issues—even Germany’s once booming manufacturing economy has looked weak in recent months. That said, Germans do love Angela Merkel.

One obvious reason for France’s apathy that YouGov doesn’t mention: laïcité. France is an extremely secular country, and a law dating back to 1905 puts firm barriers between church and state. Earlier this month, a French court ordered the dismantling of a nativity scene that was assembled in a local council building. French law states that religious symbols cannot appear in public places.

Maybe it’s because France just isn’t a very religious country to begin with. Then again, neither are many of the other Christmas-loving countries that were polled. No matter the exact reason, if you want to escape your own country’s Christmastime craziness, you’ll find refuge in France.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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