Survey finds that wholesome Brits care more about family time, goodwill and simple smiles at Christmas, despite increase in shopping madness

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Research out today from Tesco Mobile has shown that traditional Brits are valuing the wholesome spirit of goodwill at Christmas despite the madness of shopping events in the lead up to December; with charity donations and smiling at strangers amongst their priorities.

Two thirds of Brits say that spending time with family is the most important thing at Christmas, beating time off work, big parties and even festive food, with just 16% of Brits saying that festive gifts were top of their list. One in five Brits surveyed admitted to smiling more at strangers during the Christmas season, showing that Brits’ traditional stiff upper lip curls into a grin as December 25th draws closer.

Despite Brits seeking bargains from Cyber sales more than ever, it appears that charity reigns as Christmas spirit comes in- with one in three people saying they are more likely to give to charity over the festive period than any other time throughout the year. With the average festive charity donation of £36, this could equate to Brits donating a whopping £1.3bn to charity each Christmas. Interestingly, young people aged 16-24 are both the most likely to volunteer for charity at Christmas and the most likely to give money to the homeless, proving that their time is not just taken up with Christmas parties and present-swapping.

When it does come to Christmas gifts, it seems that thoughtful choices are more important than ever, with a whopping 95% of Brits agreeing that giving a present that makes someone smile is more valuable than receiving an expensive gift. The research also found that receiving a surprise or a thoughtful gift is more enjoyable to receive than an expensive present. Interestingly, one in three like a surprise gift, with men preferring to be surprised on the big day than women.

The good news is that the festive spirit of goodwill appears to be lasting longer than ever- with a whopping one in ten admitting that they start to feel festive after Bonfire night is over in November, and a quarter of us feeling Christmassy as soon as December hits.

Simon Groves, Chief Marketing Officer of Tesco Mobile said:

‘It’s really pleasing to see that Brits are still in touch with traditional Christmas values, like putting a smile on a stranger’s face, or spending time with family.  Tesco Mobile is consistently named the most helpful network around* and we continue to ensure that our customers are always happy, especially at Christmas time. And this year we have enlisted the help of our colleagues and some special guests to form a ‘Smile Squad’ who will be surprising and delighting our customers and good causes with some extra special treats, as well as our usual outstanding customer service this festive period.’

Other research findings include:

  • 48% of Brits think that the spirit of goodwill is the most important thing at Christmas
  • One in ten believe that Christmas begins as soon as Bonfire Night is over, whilst 25% of the nation starts getting in the festive spirit as of 1st December and 16% of Brits think Christmas begins when the first Christmas song is played
  • 16-24 year olds are the most likely to volunteer for charity during Christmas
  • Women more likely to smile at strangers than men during the festive period
  • On average, men donate double the amount that women donate to charity at Christmas
  • 20% think that food is the most important thing about Christmas


More information about the Smile Squad will be posted on Tesco Mobile’s Facebook page over the coming weeks.


One Poll conducted research on behalf of Tesco Mobile in November 2016 with a sample of 2,000 respondents. *According to stats from Revoo consumer data


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