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Despite a recession, research shows Christmas is still Christmas


What will you be doing this Christmas? Here are some facts about how other people celebrate the holiday in the UK.

Christmas is, for most people, a time for traditions encompassing Christmas gifts under the Christmas tree for family and friends, and a traditional roast turkey dinner. That being said, not everyone shares the same beliefs about what makes the perfect Christmas.

First started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century, the custom of decorating a tree at Christmas spread to Britain in the early 19th century through the British Royal family’s connections to Germany, and became more widespread throughout Britain with the marriage of Queen Victoria to her German cousin Prince Albert.  Queen Victoria did much to popularise the tradition in a time when the British public were accustomed to following their Royal Family’s every move.

Christmas trees are often decorated with lights, tinsel, ornaments, and various other trinkets and treats.  In the past, all Christmas trees were real evergreen trees, such as pine or fir trees.  However, in more recent times, artificial trees have grown in popularity – especially since they can be reused and less likely to shed their needles.

Some people don’t bother with Christmas trees at home, either because they don’t have the space or they don’t see the need for them.  For those who do have a Christmas tree, it is often the focal point around which Christmas gifts are laid.

Millions of pounds are spent each year on Christmas gifts for friends and loved ones.  However, deep in the belly of a worldwide recession, retailers have been fearing that consumers will cut back their festive spending, leaving them in dire straits for the coming year ahead.  Many retailers make the majority of their annual profits over Christmas and would not be able to survive if consumers stopped spending.

To most, Christmas is not a time to cut back.  A number of people enjoy the immediate gratification they receive when giving gifts, and the fun they have when shopping for friends and family members.  And though Christmas gifts are the number one expense during the holiday season, a number of consumers also spoil themselves on the essentials required for a festive feast.  

There are many Christmas food traditions, like Christmas pudding and roast turkey, but not everyone follows historical customs. Some people choose to roast other meats like chicken, beef or lamb, whilst others around the world enjoy fish on Christmas Day.

Recent online survey results  show that people in the United Kingdom are still very much fans of a traditional Christmas with well over half (63 percent) preferring a turkey for Christmas dinner over any other meat.  Results also show that, despite the recession, nearly half (49 percent) will spend the same, whilst 15 percent will actually spend more at Christmas.  More women (30 percent) than men (26 percent) will spend less.

When it comes to the Christmas tree, it seems the advancement of artificial tree technology, along with more practical and environmental concerns, have pushed the majority of people away from decorating a real evergreen tree (22 percent) towards decorating an artificial tree (57 percent).