Last-minute Christmas … or all wrapped up? New study shows festive generational divide


19 December 2017

Under 40s due for six days of seasonal stress, while savvy seniors relax until the big day

  • Three quarters (76%) of those aged under 40 are facing a last-minute dash to get all of their preparations done in time for Christmas Day
  • It's a different story for the over 60s - almost two thirds (64%) are getting ready to put their feet up as they've had Christmas in the sack for weeks
  • Over 60s are the smartest shoppers with 1 in 10 bagging bargains in the January sales - 11 months ago!
  • The seasonal generation game - 10 seasonal differences that define the generations - past and present
  • Study commissioned by TV channel Drama to celebrate its Christmas programming from today until 30 December.

Christmas is very much a game of two generational halves according to a brand new study which predicts rising stress levels and six days of 'jingle hell' for adults under the age of 40 whilst super-savvy seniors aged 60 or over ease their way into the holiday season with Christmas all wrapped up...

The survey of 2,000 Brits was commissioned by TV Channel Drama to launch its Christmas programming season which has been specially calibrated to provide a restorative treat for all generations over the holiday season.

The study contrasts the festive experiences of two generations of British adults, providing a fascinating new insight into how different age groups - under 40s and over 60s - prepare for Christmas. The results suggest that a full-on festive flap looms large for Brits under 40 who face a panic in the Christmas countdown. Three quarters (76%) admitted they are completely unprepared for the big day with just six shopping days to go.

The research suggests parties are more important than preparations for most under 40s (58%) as Christmas approaches with seven in ten admitting they still have vital Xmas shopping to do. The key stress factors for this generation are crowded trips to the shops (41%), last-minute present buying (28%) and running out of money (20%).

The findings are in stark contrast to those aged over 60 - almost two thirds (64%) of whom will already be full of seasonal cheer from today knowing Christmas is already wrapped up. Three quarters (75%) of over 60s admit they start their Christmas shopping before December, with one in ten starting their present buying 11 months early, by taking advantage of January sales.

There is also a generational divide in how we spread Christmas cheer. An overwhelming 86% of over 60s prefer to send traditional cards, while for under 40s, the preferred choice for 56% of them is to digital equivalents with e-cards, festive status updates on social media and text messages.

When it comes to decorating, the older generation are more likely to buy an artificial Christmas tree and decorate it at the start of December (69%) while the under 40's prefer a real tree but will leave decorating until the week before Xmas (62%).

The top 10 ways in which Christmas is a game of generational halves are as follows:

Younger generation (under 40s) / Older generation (Over 60s)

  1. Shopping right up to Christmas Eve / Christmas prepped by 20th December
  2. Post status updates on social media, Christmas texts and e-cards / Post hand written Christmas cards
  3. Real tree - bought week before Xmas / Synthetic tree decorated in early December
  4. Modern decorations and coloured lights / Traditional decorations including white lights, candles, nativity scene etc.
  5. Play digital games - on the Wii, Xbox, social media or apps / Preference for board games or traditional parlour games
  6. Watch Netflix or on-demand TV / Watch the Queen's speech and scheduled programmes
  7. Beef, salmon or goose all fair game / Traditional turkey Christmas lunch
  8. Shop bought mince pies and Christmas pudding / Home-made mince pies and Christmas Pudding (with pennies)
  9. Casual attire / Smart clothes, making extra effort
  10. Champagne and cocktails / Wine, port, sherry and beer

Adrian Wills at Drama comments, "Whether frantically running around town buying last minute gifts or planning throughout the year, Christmas shopping can be chore. It is all made worth the effort when everyone can finally enjoy time together. Drama has lots of restorative Christmas treats in store over the festive period, ready to be enjoyed whenever viewers are able to put their feet up and indulge in some 'me time'."

Drama's Christmas programming airs every day from Monday 19 December until Friday 30 December and features TV favourites such as Sharpe (11am), Catherine Cookson (1pm), Call The Midwife (4pm), and George Gently (8pm).


For more information, please contact Katie Fox at Taylor Herring: 0208 206 5151

About Channel Drama:

Freeview 20, Sky 158, Virgin 128, BT and TalkTalk 020

Drama is the only destination for festive treats this Christmas with consistent strips of heart-warming favourites Sharpe, Cookson, Call The Midwife and Inspector George Gently shown every day on the channel throughout the festive season.

Drama is a channel that is passionate about Britain's best-loved dramas. From period through to contemporary and comedy, the channel is a treasure trove of classics which showcase the greatest stories ever told in an entertaining and engaging way. With programmes including Call The Midwife, Pride and Prejudice, Sharpe, New Tricks and Silent Witness, viewers can indulge in a handpicked range of the nation's most celebrated TV dramas.

About UKTV

UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK.

The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British commercial TV market.

The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £283m and EBITDA of £74.1m. It invested £123m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating its 22nd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies. / / @uktv_press