Which Christmas traditions will Britons keep up despite COVID?

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
December 18, 2020, 5:39 PM UTC

While most people are buying presents and putting up decorations, many are skipping activities such as visiting family and Christmas shopping in-store

Many Britons will be celebrating Christmas differently this year. New figures from YouGov show how people are adapting to the pandemic during the festive period.

Most are buying presents (86%), putting up decorations (73%) and sending cards (61%) like they normally would. But while just over a third (36%) say they will do their Christmas shopping in-store like other years, a similar proportion (38%) will avoid it this year.  

Just under a quarter of Brits (23%) plan to travel to see friends and family, while over two fifths (43%) who normally do will not this year.

A fifth of the public (19%) are still planning on having a festive dinner with friends, despite there only being a brief window over Christmas when household mixing is allowed in many parts of the country. Just over a third (35%) who would normally have similar plans are avoiding it this year.

One in six (17%) are also hosting or attending a Christmas party – rising to one in four (24%) among 25- to 34-year-olds. But twice as many people who usually would do the same (39%) are staying home.  

Similarly, only 11% of Britons plan to go to the pub around Christmas – although they might not get the chance with restrictions increasing in many places.

While outdoor Christmas markets are allowed regardless of what tier you’re in, only one in twenty people (5%) plan to visit one. About half of Britons (48%) say they usually would but are skipping it.

The same is true for pantomimes, which are allowed in tiers one and two. Only 1% of public plan to see one this year, while a fifth (21%) who have gone in other years are abstaining or unable to go.

See the full results here