What does Christmas and the holiday season mean to Americans?

Basically, 97 percent feel that it is "a time when families can enjoy a joyous holiday together." And by 90 to 9 percent. Americans feel that it is "a time when people can take a few days off and renew the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill to men."

But there are also a number of specia. meanings that people associate with the yuletide season, as shown in a recent ABC News-Harris Survey of 1,197 adults nationwide:

Nearly 9 out of every 10 people see Christmas as "a special time for young children who believe in Santa Claus. "Those between the ages of 18 and 30 feel feel this most strongly.

By 76 to 22 percent, a big majority also feels that Christmas is "a time when the depth of feeling about religion is renewed.

People respond to the human and religious sentiment of christmas, but they also see it as a time for giving and receiving gifts, and they have conflicting views about this:

By 62 to 37 percent, a majority says that Christmas means "a time when people can look forward to giving and receiving nice gifts." Again, young people feel this mostly strongly.

However, a larger 68-to-31 percent majority also feels that the holiday season is "a time when people spend too much money and celebrate more than is good for them."