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Christmas – more of a standard than we think

But the South West dislike Christmas the most, those in the North East are the most harmonious, the Welsh are the most generous, Londoners are stingiest and the Scots the most argumentative

London, 12 December 2016 – With Christmas just a few days away, there’s a satisfying amount of goodwill and cheer felt towards the big day, according to a survey by standards body GS1 UK. The survey showed that 94% of British adults who celebrate Christmas feel positive about it and that there’s a surprisingly common approach across the country.

We are relatively well organised, with 58% of adults who celebrate Christmas tend to finish their shopping at least a week before Christmas day and 15% being wrapped and ready at least a month in advance. Only one in 10 admits to the Christmas Eve dash to the finish line. In terms of where we shop, 55% of us now buy at least half of our Christmas presents online, with only 10% of us avoiding the internet altogether when buying them.

On Christmas Day itself, tradition rules. A huge 82%* of Brits who celebrate Christmas stated no unusual traditions as their way of spending the day. It’s all about Bucks Fizz for breakfast, the family lunch, bracing walks, board games and going to church. But some have a very distinct take on making the day special – when asked individual respondents said they have traditions such as eating crocodile meat, dressing the cat as an elf and dancing naked around a statue of Donald Trump.

Two thirds of us have a harmonious Christmas Day without arguments. But if tempers flare, it’s most likely to be over a board game, with 11% of Scots who celebrate Christmas letting their competitive streak get the better of them. And when it comes to gifts, over half (52%) of Brits taking part in the festive holiday spend between £100 and £500. But the Welsh respondents like to splash the cash the most, with 14% spending over £1,000 in total. Londoners surveyed are the most penny pinching, with 11% spending £50 or less on their gifts.

Commenting on the survey, Gary Lynch, CEO of standards body GS1 UK, said: “It’s interesting to see that in a nation that usually embraces its differences, tradition wins hands down at Christmas – and it’s all about standards!”

(But if we are looking for stereotypes, then those in the South West dislike Christmas the most (11% are ba humbugs), those in the North East are the most harmonious (75% squabble free), the Welsh are the most generous, Londoners are stingiest and the Scots the most argumentative.)


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About GS1 UK

For further information or requests for interviews, please contact Tim Haidar: 020 7092 3584 /

GS1 UK is a community of over 30,000 members working in retail, foodservice, healthcare and more. GS1 UK is one of 112 independent, not-for-profit GS1 organisations operating across 150 countries worldwide. GS1 UK helps everyone involved in making, moving and trading goods, automate and standardise their supply chain processes using the common language of GS1 global standards.

Editor’s notes

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,232 GB adults (aged 18+), of whom 2,039 celebrate Christmas. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th – 28th November 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

* based on 78% that said “don’t know” and 4% that said “nothing”