Spending time with family is the nation’s favourite Christmas tradition (28 per cent), followed by eating Christmas dinner (23 per cent) and decorating the Christmas tree, along with helping the homeless and enjoying time off work, according to a study commissioned by Parcelforce Worldwide.
Over six in ten (61 per cent) people voted Christmas as their favourite seasonal holiday. Those living in the North East are the most festive in the UK with seven in ten residents voting Christmas their favourite seasonal holiday. Northern Ireland, Yorkshire & Humber, Scotland and the South West complete the top five festive regions, respectively.
The most unusual gifts people have sent for Christmas include: a driftwood Labrador, a painted concrete gnome, a personalised wooden spoon, a Victorian slipper-shaped bed pan, an experience day to walk with llamas, an ancestry DNA testing kit, an acre of the moon, a sprig of mistletoe, bagpipes and a personalised photo cushion.
Almost one in four (37 per cent) of those surveyed have some members of family living abroad. 40 per cent keep in touch with their family via Skype and 30 per cent via post. With that in mind, half (50 per cent) of people send Christmas presents abroad with Europe being the most popular destination, followed by North America and Australia. Just under four in ten (37 per cent) will send their parcels abroad a month in advance, with over ten per cent doing so earlier than this. 36 per cent send their parcels abroad two to three weeks before Christmas.
Some of the furthest destinations people have sent Christmas presents to include: Malawi, Bisbee in Arizona, Chiayaphum in Thailand, Alaska, Winnipeg in Canada, Timor, Namibia, Wollongong and the outback in Australia.
The survey also revealed that people do the majority of their Christmas shopping a month in advance of the big day (35 per cent). Almost one in four people (23 per cent) do their shopping two to three weeks before Christmas. Only one per cent leave it to the last minute and do their shopping on Christmas Eve.
One in six (16 per cent) make their own Christmas presents and 58 per cent send their gifts to others via a parcel carrier with a quarter using Parcelforce Worldwide services. Women are more likely to make their own Christmas gifts (22 per cent), compared to men (9 per cent).
A spokesperson from Parcelforce Worldwide said “It is heart-warming to see that spending time with family is the nation’s favourite Christmas tradition. With some families unfortunately unable to spend Christmas with all their loved ones, sending touching presents ahead of the big day is a great way to share the festive spirit – across the nation and the globe.”
Parcelforce Worldwide revealed its Christmas advert for 2018 last month. The advert follows the story of a young girl getting a Christmas gift to her grandma in Florida, with the help of Parcelforce Worldwide. It has a heart-warming ending too. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6yQbyx4faU.