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Together

Ringing the changes: How new trends are transforming the typical Christmas Day for Brits

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“New Normal Christmas” report discovers an increasing number of Brits are breaking from traditions, with Skype calls to family, handling work emails and festive fashion for our pets replacing going to church or tuning in to the Queen’s speech.

Although the traditional Christmas dinner is one of our favourite meals of the year, a rising number of Brits will ring the changes in 2018 with takeaways and nut roasts becoming popular festive fodder.

Breakfast at 8.54am, opening presents at 10.06am, dinner by 1.36pm and settling down for a 3.48pm nap makes up the perfect typical Christmas Day, according to new research by specialist lender Together.

The study, part of Together’s “New Normal Christmas” campaign, found many Brits still enjoy a very traditional day, with the first alcoholic drink coming at 12.18pm before finally sitting down in front of the television at 2.42pm.

However, an increasing number of us are breaking away from traditions, with Skype calls to family, handling work emails and even visits to the gym replacing going to church or watching the Queen’s speech.

One in ten of us even now dress up our pets in festive fashionwear, and 15 per cent of us will don festive pyjamas during the day.

Social media has also now become an important feature, with almost a fifth of Britons (18 per cent) posting pictures of their present piles or snaps of their dinner on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

And although Christmas dinner is one of our favourite meals, a rising number of Brits buck the trend this year.

Just 57 per cent of us now eat turkey on Christmas Day, with an array of non-traditional fayre making it on to our festive menus, including pizza, kebabs, curries and nut roasts.

In fact, five per cent will go to a restaurant, eight per cent will order a takeaway and three per cent will even be eating at a service station this year instead of having a traditional dinner.

Nevertheless, the research revealed family values are still at the heart of Christmas Day celebrations for most of us. Indeed, 82 per cent will make sure we celebrate on December 25 among family, with 38 per cent of those ensuring all our relatives attend on the day.

Settling down together for the traditional Christmas lunch is still our favourite part of the day (69 per cent), followed by opening our presents (42 per cent). Watching Christmas movies and special episodes of our favourite television shows completes our top three best bits (33 per cent).

Sonia Whiteley-Guest, marketing director at Together – a specialist mortgage and secured loan provider – said: “Society is changing in so many ways, not just the way we live and work but also the traditions we hold dear at times like Christmas, so this insight paints an interesting picture of the perfect typical Christmas Day in British homes. This is the ‘new normal Christmas’.

“We have discovered, to the minute, how the majority of us typically spend our Christmas Day together, and it’s great to know that many of our traditions remain such an important part of the day despite some of the modern trappings and emerging trends that are making their way into our lives.”

To celebrate Christmas, the average Brit will fork out £128 on food and drink, £304.30 on gifts for friends and family and £59.30 on decorations.

Shockingly, five per cent of us shell out more than £1,000 on presents and two per cent will buy more than £500-worth of food and booze.

But the research found a whole host of new traditions are taking over.

Of those polled, three in ten will now don a festive jumper for the duration of either Christmas Eve or the big day itself (30 per cent), while 15 per cent will be wearing festive pyjamas. One in ten (nine per cent) now even buy their pet a special outfit to celebrate the occasion.

Among the changing traditions, 10 per cent now follow Santa as he completes his deliveries using an online tracker and three per cent will ditch a chocolate advent calendar in favour of a beer or gin equivalent.

The shunning of traditions also means just five per cent will visit church and 13 per cent will watch the Queen's Speech at 3pm, which used to be a mainstay of the big day. A further 10 per cent will watch it on catch up.

Despite not being in the office, six per cent of Brits confess they will not be able to stop themselves checking on their work emails on Christmas Day.

Others will use the day off to complete outstanding DIY jobs (four per cent) and get to the gym (two per cent).

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