Christmas traditions mean many different things to different people. Of course there can be gifts under the tree, a Lillet spritz before midday and roast turkey served at a Christmas table teeming with poinsettias and tapered candles.
But as society changes and new generations welcome fresh ideas, more people are spending the day with friends in their pyjamas, or focusing on laidback Boxing Day celebrations.
To find out how you’ll be celebrating Christmas this year, we teamed up with YouGov and spoke to more than 2,600 people across Britain. The results show we’re a nation that’s both forward-looking and nostalgic, embracing traditions of the past while welcoming in the new.
Here are some of our favourite festive discoveries.
Christmas number crunching
We’re divided on what to wear on the big day. Half of 18 to 24-year-olds intend to keep it casual on Christmas Day with a third even staying in their PJs (it’s no coincidence that sales of women’s Christmas pyjamas are up by 52% this year). However, the rest of us can’t wait to wear our most chic outfit regardless of what everyone else is wearing.
Because of the cost of living crisis, four in 10 people plan to spend less on gifts and to give with more meaning. Under-35s are taking things a step further with 44% saying they’ll be baking or crafting gifts this year.
A third of people now have two Christmas trees: one for show with their best baubles and one for putting presents under. Of those, 35% believe an artificial tree is better for the environment versus 33% who say the real thing wins every time.
It’s not only the indoors we’re decorating – six in 10 of us want to dazzle passers-by and inspire cheer with outdoor Christmas lights, decorations and installations. But 72% of us think these should be tasteful, so we’ll be opting for shades of burgundy and bordeaux decorations in a final nod to Pantone’s colour of 2023, Viva Magenta.
The traditionalists among us are still opting for turkey, pork and fish for Christmas Day dinner, with Waitrose reporting turkey orders up 23% and those for mains of pork and fish having doubled.
Having said that, and this one may be a step too far for some, 10% of 18 to 24-year-olds claim they’ll be ordering a takeaway Christmas dinner. One in five are also foregoing turkey for vegetarian and vegan options, leading Waitrose to create its biggest ever vegan Christmas with plant-based dishes for every course – including mince pies.
One in five of us says spending Christmas with loved ones has become even more important than it was pre-pandemic. Whether that’s with children, pets, stepparents, the closest of friends or those neighbours you bonded with back in 2020, whatever your traditions, they’ll be better shared.
What will Christmas look like for you this year? Share your festive traditions using the hashtag #TraditionsGrow