Survey: Half of all adults still get a Christmas stocking

It’s out with the old and in with the new when it comes to Christmas traditions as we see a decline in the charming customs of old and an increase in lavish wish lists and bigger stockings.

Research, conducted by Galt Toys, has found that familiar traditions such as real Christmas trees, hanging mistletoe in the house, carol singing and watching the Queen’s Speech are off the festive wish list this year.

An overwhelming 72 per cent of people are using artificial trees, 63 per cent will have no mistletoe hanging in the house and 81 per cent of people admitted they won’t be watching the Queen’s speech.

Lucky sixpences (or modern equivalents) will not be in 85 per cent of Christmas puddings and 71 per cent of people no longer get carol singers coming to their doors.

New Christmas traditions are emerging which see Santa sacks replacing Christmas stockings, rows over the tree lights, family tensions, forgetting batteries for the new toys and chocolate as the default gift. Some people are even shunning traditional turkey in favour of takeaways.

John McDonnell of Galt Toys explains that it isn’t all doom and gloom: “It’s hard work keeping traditions alive but despite some of the charm being lost by the inevitable changes, our research has shown we’re still a nation of big kids when it comes to enjoying the festive period.

“Nearly 50 per cent of adults still have a Christmas stocking and 63 per cent of adults get toys to play with on Christmas Day. And not surprisingly the magic of Father Christmas still holds strong with 95 per cent of families leaving food and drink out for him and his reindeer.”

Christmas traditions are changing as families compromise over different traditions from childhood and create new ones when they have children of their own.

More than half of those surveyed create new Christmas traditions when they have children despite 34 per cent of people preferring the traditions from their own childhood. John added: “Whatever happens this Christmas in your household you can guarantee you will receive one of the following: chocolate (58%), soap or bubble bath (41%), a book (36%), socks (31%) or pyjamas (29%).”