Don't Let Shopping Get In The Way Of Christmas, Says The Salvation Army

published on 4 Dec 2014

A string of Christmas traditions are falling by the wayside - because modern life has taken over, research has revealed.

A survey commissioned by the Salvation Army found just seven per cent of us will go to midnight mass or the Christmas Eve church service this year, while even fewer will go door-to-door carolling.

It also emerged 16 per cent plan to forego the traditional turkey dinner, while four in ten will not watch the Queen's speech.

Although only one in ten who said shopping is the most important tradition, 68 per cent of people feel they are too rushed shopping and organising nowadays to enjoy true festive traditions. 

Major Val Mylechreest for The Salvation Army, which commissioned the study, said:

“It’s easy to become immersed in all the hustle and bustle of the modern-day

Christmas, with the emphasis on buying presents. Even from October we start to see decorations and ads on the high street pressuring us to prepare for Christmas.

"Taking a step back from wrapping gifts means we can really appreciate the time we have with family and friends at this time of year. But this time of year should also provide a reason to help others who aren’t in a position to go shopping.

"Volunteering to support those who are less fortunate than us is an alternative way of spreading Christmas spirit that everyone can get involved in.

“It is a time to celebrate God’s message of good will to all men. We can do this by reaching out to our community and helping those in need as well as focusing on family and friends.”

The research also showed seeing faraway relatives is the festive event most commonly pushed aside for other Christmas priorities, such as shopping or preparing food.

A huge 74 per cent of adults said they won’t go carolling this year.

Visiting the Christmas market and volunteering with a charity were revealed as other long forgotten seasonal activities – whilst sending cards to family and friends was also listed.

Three in ten believe watching a panto is disappearing from Christmas traditions, and over a fifth of adults said that well-wishing your neighbours over the festive period is no longer common.

Shopping for presents has biggest prominence at Christmas, said 58 per cent who admitted they spend most of this period researching, shopping and wrapping gifts. 

When it came to December 25th, half of all the adults polled said the day will be focused around food and chocolate in addition to the Christmas dinner.

Watching TV specials will take up most of the day, said over a third, whilst 17 per cent admitted that the kids will usually spend their time on tablets, phones and games consoles.

28 per cent said they won’t play traditional board games such as Charades or Pictionary, and four in ten won’t watch the Queen’s speech.

Amazingly, 16 per cent won’t even be tucking in to a traditional turkey roast, instead opting for a takeaway or a meal such as steak and chips.

The research also showed that a mere six per cent will use Christmas time for activities such as ice-skating, carolling or visiting Santa’s grotto - the same tiny amount that use it for charity-work or volunteering.

Val adds, “The Salvation Army helps people who are lonely or in need in every community – offering practical support and a friendly welcome. Why not join us over Christmas, The Salvation Army conducts services throughout the Christmas period, or if you would like to help us help others, why not donate to our Christmas fundraising appeal...or just say Happy Christmas to your neighbour.”