The most important thing at Christmas is cuddles, food and family

Christmas foodChristmas food.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

When someone describes their dream Christmas season, nine out of ten say that contact with family is important, eight out of ten want good food and two out of three want to relax. The story of Christmas and attending church comes way down the list.

Only one in six, or 14 percent, think the Christmas gospel and church visits are important at Christmas. The statistics have come from a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of DNB
– Most of us associate Christmas with concern for others, traditions, mood, quiet, family time and happy children.
As soon as it gets darker outside, we begin to look forward to Christmas. We envisage a pleasant and quiet pre-Christmas with cocoa and gingerbread baking, says consumer economist Nigel Sandmæl to news agency NTB.
Generally, most people are very concerned about this, but how concerned we are about Christmas items, varies by sex, marital status and economics, not to mention age.
The new older
Only 16 percent of people aged 60 says that film and television are important at Christmas, and 42 percent want to relax. For the total population, film and television is important for 36 percent, while 67 percent want to relax.
– It is not so surprising, since most seniors have plenty of time and may do so elsewhere too, says chief editor Anne Marit Hjelme in “We over 60”.
In addition, when it comes to Christmas decorating, gifts, family gatherings and food, the elderly are generally less interested than others.
Meanwhile, around 20 percent are very concerned about the Christmas story and going to church, while 38 percent will read books during the Christmas season, a much higher number than for others.
– Many find the big family gatherings fussy, some become tired quickly, and others are a little over the traditional Norwegian celebration.
We see a growing trend that many people choose to go away, our resort in Spain is completely full over Christmas, both couples, friends and singles.
– Among the oldest elderly, it is not surprising that they are not so concerned with gifts and cooking anymore, but that the Christmas message otherwise stands strong.
Women’s Christmas
Hjelme also points out that many seniors are alone, and that their interest in Christmas traditions then decreases for some.
The figures show that those who are single are in general less concerned with the Christmas stuff than families and individuals with partners. The greatest interest is for gifts, decorations and enjoyment with families and young adults.
The higher the income, the more concerned people are for Chirstmas. Not least, women are much more fixated about Christmas than men. Sandmæl believes women feel a pressure, both from the environment and themselves.
– We see all around us who prefer to decorate, buy gifts, arrange Christmas party and make homemade advent calendar for children, while they are in full-time job, and think that everyone else gets it.
In reality, probably all the others are equally stressed as yourself, and equally anxious not to meet expectations, she says.
The only activity men are more concerned with than women at Christmas, is to party with friends.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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