Great Britain
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Covid has changed Christmas traditions forever with Brits nervous to return to usual festive activities, survey finds


BRITS have revealed their best-loved Christmas traditions, including watching festive films, wearing Christmas jumpers – and tucking into turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

A study of 2,000 adults found Christmas dinner to be the top tradition over the festive period, while listening to Christmas songs and putting a mince pie out for Santa on Christmas Eve also featured in the top 20.

The research also found 53 per cent believe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made them value Christmas traditions more than they’d realised. 

Although, going to a pantomime, shopping in-store and going out for drinks on Christmas Eve, were among the loved traditions that Brits are now uncomfortable doing following the pandemic.

Research further revealed that 41 per cent believe the traditions they follow have changed over the years, with 35 per cent having adapted their traditions in a bid to be less materialistic and 32 per cent have altered their traditions for their children.

Francesca Savage, Head of Christmas at Save The Children, which commissioned the research to celebrate its tenth Christmas Jumper Day this Friday (10th December) said: "For many of us, the traditions we take part in at Christmas are what make the festive period something we look forward to. 

“However, COVID-19 has meant that we’ve had to adapt and in doing so, people have swapped materialistic traditions for ones that bring joy to their children.

“Whatever happens this year, we hope that the nation will join us in one of their top twenty beloved traditions of wearing a Christmas Jumper Day this Friday. 

“The bolder and brighter, the better, to raise vital funds to help support Save the Children’s work in the UK and across the world.”

For its 10th anniversary, Save the Children is encouraging the nation to dig out vintage jumpers, upcycle or shop second hand, to make this the most sustainable Christmas Jumper Day yet. 

The study, commissioned by OnePoll, in fact found that one in five have bought a second-hand Christmas jumper before, while one in eight (13 per cent) have made their own.

Following the findings, Save the Children has created a quiz so you can find out what your Christmas jumper style says about you. 

The research also found almost seven in ten agreed people should make more of an effort to be more sustainable this Christmas, for example, not using glitter wrapping paper or buying plastic toys. 

And surprisingly this year 53 per cent plan to buy second-hand gifts in a bid to be more sustainable than ever before. 

However, almost three-quarters (73 per cent) agreed that there was still a stigma about buying second-hand presents, while three-fifths admitted that if they did buy a second-hand present, they would conceal this from the recipient in fear of their reaction. 

British high-street retail expert and founder of ‘Mary’s Living and Giving for Save the Children’ shops, Mary Portas, said: “With £42m worth of unwanted Christmas presents sent to the landfill each year, there’s no better time for the nation to opt for a thoughtful, less consumerist Christmas by buying pre-loved gifts. 

“Charity shopping offers savings and the chance to buy personalised presents for loved ones but most importantly, it gives back to those who need vital support. 

“Whether you buy sustainably for this year’s tenth Christmas Jumper Day or want to find a hidden gem to gift, please remember that by buying second-hand from a Save the Children shop, you can help protect the magic for children everywhere.”

To take part, all people have to do is donate £2 (or £1 for kids) to Save the Children and sign up at

The money raised goes toward helping disadvantaged children get the food, healthcare and education they need.


  1. Christmas dinner
  2. Giving and receiving presents
  3. Putting the Christmas tree up 
  4. Eating with all the family on Christmas Day
  5. Putting up Christmas decorations
  6. Watching traditional Christmas films
  7. Eating Turkey on Christmas Day
  8. Listening to Christmas songs on the radio
  9. Sending Christmas cards
  10. Getting an advent calendar 
  11. Eating Turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day
  12. Wearing Christmas jumpers
  13. Going out for a Christmas meal with friends
  14. Watching the Queen’s speech 
  15. Getting dressed up on Christmas Day
  16. Hanging a wreath 
  17. Putting a mince pie and glass out for Santa, and carrots for Santa’s reindeer
  18. Drinking Bucks Fizz on Christmas morning
  19. Lounging around in your Christmas pyjamas on Christmas Day
  20. Going to a pantomime