What kind of person doesn’t like Christmas?

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
December 18, 2019, 10:30 AM GMT+0

We look at the top ways in which more than 6,000 Christmas-sceptics differ from the population at large

Christmas is rapidly approaching, but a new YouGov study shows that not all Britons will be counting down the sleeps until the big day.

While two thirds of Britons (67%) like Christmas a further 16% are apathetic, and one in seven (15%) actively dislike it.

So who are the scrooges that bah and humbug at the season of goodwill to all men? Using YouGov Profiles we can see what distinguishes this group from the public as a whole.

Unsurprisingly, religious attitudes are a factor. Fully 58% of people who dislike Christmas say they do not regard themselves as belonging to any particular religion. This compares to around half (50%) of the general population.

Age is also a key factor in whether or not a person likes Christmas. Fully 55% of the people who get the grump over the season are over 50.

They are also more likely to be living by themselves – just over a quarter (26%) are the only person in their household, compared to 18% of all Britons.

Christmas is often seen as being a holiday mostly for children, and people who dislike the season are less likely to have kids. Around 46% are childless, compared to 38% of the full population.

Indeed, if we look at attitudes by age and parenthood status, we see that similar proportions of parents and non-parents dislike Christmas up until their mid-30s. After that point, however, the gap becomes much wider, with 20% of childless people aged between 36 and 40 disliking Christmas compared to only 9% of parents the same age.

The size of this gap remains constant until people reach their late 50s, at which point the rate of parents who dislike Christmas rises to match that of non-parents – possibly a result of their children flying the nest and taking the Christmas spirit with them.

Marriage, the monarchy and magazines: all things Christmas-haters also dislike

The study looked across the 240,000 variables in Profiles to get a greater sense of who the grinches are. The following attributes are all among the top 100 that set apart Christmas-haters from the public as a whole.

The most common characteristic is that they don’t celebrate other religious holidays either. Their disdain for religion is also indicated by their greater likelihood to agree with the statement “across history, religion has done more bad than good”.

They tend to take a dim view of marriage, being more likely to agree with statements like “weddings are a waste of money”, “marriage is an outdated institution” and “there's no point in getting married, over half marriages end in divorce anyway”.

Click to enlarge

They are less likely to read magazines – either in print or app format – and are also less likely to go to the cinema, theme parks, restaurants, fairs or the circus. These are likely to be down to Christmas-haters’ older average age, which would also explain why they are more likely to say “I don’t understand what many emojis mean”.

Clearly the Queen’s speech will enrage many Christmas-haters, being that they are more likely than the average Brit to say they strongly oppose the monarchy.

Other noticeably different political views include a belief that celebrity culture is very unhealthy and that “the Olympics is more financeable trouble to a city than it’s worth”.

In a more left-field discovery, the results also show that people who dislike Christmas are more likely to drink squashes and cordials, fruit drinks and smoothies, and diet fizzy drinks.

Photo: Getty

Find out more about YouGov Profiles

Explore more data & articles