Spending time with family is the nation’s favourite Christmas Day tradition, followed by eating Christmas dinner and decorating the Christmas tree, along with helping the homeless and enjoying time off work, according to a study commissioned by Parcelforce Worldwide.
Over six in ten people voted Christmas as their favourite seasonal holiday. Those living in the North East are the most festive in the UK with seven in ten residents voting Christmas their favourite seasonal holiday. Northern Ireland, Yorkshire & Humber, Scotland and the South West complete the top five festive regions, respectively.
The most unusual gifts people have sent for Christmas include: a driftwood Labrador, a painted concrete gnome, a personalised wooden spoon, a Victorian slipper-shaped bed pan, an experience day to walk with llamas, an ancestry DNA testing kit, an acre of the moon, a sprig of mistletoe, bagpipes and a personalised photo cushion.
Almost one in four of those surveyed have some members of family living abroad. 40% keep in touch with their family via Skype and 30% via post. With that in mind, half of people send Christmas presents abroad with Europe being the most popular destination, followed by North America and Australia. Just under four in ten will send their parcels abroad a month in advance, with over ten per cent doing so earlier than this. 36 per cent send their parcels abroad two to three weeks before Christmas.
Some of the furthest destinations people have sent Christmas presents to include: Malawi, Bisbee in Arizona, Chiayaphum in Thailand, Alaska, Winnipeg in Canada, Timor, Namibia, Wollongong and the outback in Australia.
The survey also revealed that people do the majority of their Christmas shopping a month in advance of the big day. Almost one in four people do their shopping two to three weeks before Christmas. Only 1% leave it to the last minute and do their shopping on Christmas Eve.
Whilst rolling the dice on Christmas Eve might sound risky and lead to literally grabbing anything you can, there is a little bit of sense in the strategy. Boxing Day sales and New Year sales tend to start early and if you’re shopping on Christmas Eve you’ll find a ton of goods significantly marked down as retailers try to shift them at the last minute.
And for online retailers it’s worth remembering that Christmas Day sales have been growing year on year. Once the presents are open and Christmas Dinner is over, as people settle down with family to watch the inevitable Christmas special repeats on the TV, boredom soon sets in and with smart phones and iPads, many of which will be shiny new gifts just begging to be played with, a spot of online shopping is too tempting to ignore and fast becoming a new Christmas Day tradition to beat the Boxing Day sales rush.
While you’re probably desperately busy this week shipping out your weekend’s sales, it’s worth thinking about what promotions you’ll be running over the Christmas bank holidays… if that is you’re not totally shutting down and taking a break yourself.