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Ruth Clement

Ruth Clement

[UK] Are millennials ditching Christmas / Holiday Season traditions?

Each year Kidz Global compares the trends of two selected countries and produces The Gift Report. In 2019, The Gift Report turned its attention to Italy and UK, both countries showing distinct symptoms of change in consumer-shopper attitudes and behavior.

In this post we’ve focused on the traditions which are changing generation by generation in the UK as UK millennial parents shape Christmas to suit them, breaking free from the traditions which they’ve inherited.

  • 46% of all millennial parents do NOT celebrate with a traditional Christmas Day meal. One in five of them have their main festive meal on Christmas Eve instead.
  • Only 44% of Millennials put presents under a tree or in a ‘special place’ compared to 59% of Baby boomers. Christmas stockings or sacks are as popular to these younger parents (43%) as a pile of presents under a bauble-festooned tree.
  • Millennial parents, with younger families, spend time travelling between families’ houses over the Christmas period, and look to grandparents to rekindle Christmas traditions in their visited homes instead.

There are practical reasons why millennial parents are distancing themselves from old traditions. Parents are sentimental but place increasing emphasis on convenience. The ‘magic of Christmas with all its trimmings’ is not considered convenient. Young family homes may be too small to accommodate a tree; or vacant during the festive period, fostering concerns about theft; growth in disposable income per capita reached a plateau in Q1 2018 with falling consumer confidence; and multi-cultural influences are evolving traditions for young families too.

So, what does this practical detachment from Christmas traditions mean in commercial terms?

Well, for industries which rely on the symbolism and traditions of Christmas – “all the trimmings” at the dinner table, decorations around the home (baubles, tinsel, cards), presents under the tree – this trend is certainly one which needs practical, innovative solutions, in order to turn it from a threat in to an opportunity. Consider how millennial parents can make their own traditions ‘’portable” and complimentary to what takes place at the grandparents’ houses. Accentuate the emotional benefits of festive traditions, for all the family, especially children, which create lasting childhood memories.

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