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How will Christmas be different this year?

Are you ready for the Christmas season?

Christmas is the biggest holiday season in the world. Although it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, many perceive it not as a religious celebration but as a cultural one. It is also an occasion to get together with family members, have fun, give and receive presents, and much more.

For many, the holiday evokes fond memories of specific sounds and smells and a feeling of home. These memories are what lead people to grasp the importance of establishing their own traditions, which can make the holiday special.

What is the importance of Christmas?

Family traditions, in particular, bring people closer together. They can lead to unforgettable memories and help one feel part of something bigger, a sense of belonging. They are something to await with great anticipation. They help shape people’s character, especially the youth. People make an effort to observe different traditions that are important to them all year round, but Christmas traditions are the strongest without a doubt.

A truly global festive season

Most people observe Christmas on December 25 as a cultural and religious celebration. Christmas Day is preceded by the Nativity Fast or the Advent season. It marks the beginning of Christmastide, which ends with the Twelfth Night and traditionally goes on for 12 days in the West. In many countries, Christmas Day is a public holiday. So is December 24 or Christmas Eve.

Most Christians perceive Christmas as a religious celebration, while non-Christians see it as a cultural holiday when they celebrate it. All in all, it builds an integral component of the holiday season, which is organized entirely around it. Many people get together on or around Christmas to make plans for the year ahead, as they do on New Year’s Eve. However, ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Christmas holidays have been different. People still look forward to spending time with their loved ones, although the concept of togetherness has been altered.

Most of the respondents in a study we carried out do not agree that communicating online can replace being physically present in the same room. You will learn more about this and other results of the study from our report that will be available soon.

How is Christmas for consumers and brands in 2021?

Consumers and brands alike are hoping for a dose of normality this season. After a Christmas holiday that was suffocated by strict regulations and chaos last year – how this is possible is beyond us. Despite restrictions not being as strict, the impact of the pandemic has not faded. It is expected to reflect on consumer behaviour again this Christmas.

The difference is that brands have a new and improved opportunity to help not only individual consumers but also entire communities to rekindle the festive spirit. What’s more, they can offer people different ways to help them buy presents for their relatives and friends smoothly.

About the TGM Global Christmas survey

We carried out extensive research, resulting in a comprehensive report on Christmas in 17 countries. Some of the findings were quite surprising and can be extrapolated to populations globally. The report offers lucrative market insight as well. Our data shows that despite the pandemic, people will not lose interest in Christmas. They will always want to buy their loved ones gifts and spend this special time with them. While full results will be published on December 18, 2021, here are some details.

Fieldwork took place between December 2 and December 10. The total number of respondents was 14,250, making this quite a representative survey for almost 1B consumers celebrating Christmas worldwide.
Some of the topics and insights we discovered in the study:
  • Christmas is still a time to be generous despite COVID

    - The majority of respondents worldwide agree that Christmas is a time for generosity and thinking about the needs of others and the most awaited season of the year.
    - This season is loved because we can spend time withfamilies. Globally the Christmas season is mostly celebrated without the religious aspect - perceived predominately as a secular holiday.
  • COVID changed the form of the upcoming Christmas.

    - Over 70% of respondents agree that Christmas during the Covid19 pandemic is worse than in “normal” times. It affects the majority’s ability to this year’s celebration.
    - More than half of the respondents claim that the number of people for the family Christmas dinner be limited this year.
    - The most common number of people to spend Christmas is between 7 to 10.
    - Despite the restrictions, people try to find other ways to contact the family for the holiday.
    - Over 70% of respondents plan to use video conferencing. Nevertheless, one-third think that it is definitely not possible to fully replace face-to-face meetings with online conversations.
  • We won't travel too far this Christmas.

    - The majority of the respondents are staying at home this Christmas. .
    - 27% of Christmas travelers will make their trip mostly within the region, usually by car. Not surprisigly, flights will be seldom a choice.
    - Almost half of those who travel will set off 1 day before Christmas or on the first day of the holiday.
  • The majority will spend more on this Christmas than last year!

    - Food, drinks, and gifts are the main expenses for the upcoming Christmas.
    - Although Christmas product advertising helps, it’s not decisive. Around 56% of respondents say pre-holiday advertisements make it easier for them to make a purchase decision.
  • More people are buying presents online than ever!

    - Most respondents stated that they are shopping more online this year because of the pandemic. They concur that marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay are the best places to buy online.
    - Most people intend to buy clothes as a Christmas gift this year, with sweets and candy a close second.
    - Money as gift is highly welcomed, quite a few would like to get money as a gift more than anything else.
  • The future looks bright!

    - Although 48% claim that 2021 was worse than average, our respondents express lots of enthusiasm about the upcoming new year. Over 60% state that 2022 will be way better than 2021!
    - The majority feel optimism and happiness while thinking about the upcoming year. However, one-third express worry.


TGM Research is an international technology-driven market research agency, which uses innovative digital ways to conduct surveys. We deliver large-scale global projects across all business and consumer audiences. Our global team of consultants blends people expertise and technology experience to build insight solutions that help drive our clients’ incremental growth.

Would you like to learn more?

Get detailed insights from the world's biggest Christmas season survey.

Global Christmas Report