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New Christmas poll – What we love and hate

Media Release

New Christmas poll – What we love and hate

We love Christmas – it’s the one time of the year that’s all about family, according to the results of a poll commissioned by Reader’s Digest1.

For 63 percent of Kiwis, the very best thing about Christmas is spending time with family and friends and 87 percent fully expect to celebrate with their nearest and dearest.

Just over half of us at 55 percent feel good about the coming festivities, 38 percent of us feel excited and 17 percent feel spiritual. Some 3 percent admitted Christmas makes them feel lonely.

For just 10 percent the religious message remains the most important thing about Christmas and 5 percent love most the time off work.

Forget restaurants, picnics or the beach, when it comes to Christmas dinner, a walloping 94 percent of us eat at home and three quarters prefer it this way. Share a thought for the cook, on average we expect to share our main Christmas meal with 12 others and for 72% that meal must be a roast. Seafood has become a menu addition for 29 percent of us.

Only 3 percent celebrate at a restaurant, yet the notion of no cooking and washing up, appeals to six times as many. And obesity isn’t of interest on Christmas Day, no matter where we dine, 68 percent of us expect to eat too much.

As we tuck into our Christmas lunch 42 percent of us expect to wear a coloured paper hat and 32 percent of us will immortalise this fashion faux pas on film.

New Zealand women are more involved and active on Christmas Day and outscored men in these categories: phoning relatives (65 percent); cooking and cleaning up (62 percent); assembling presents (47 percent); and taking silly photos (37 percent).

New Zealand men expect to: drink too much (36 percent); play backyard sport (35 percent); have an afternoon nap (33 percent); watch TV (34 percent) and wear a paper hat (43 percent).

The annual retail splurge that sees us staggering under the weight of presents we purchase for friends and family may not be worth the effort. Only 6 percent of Kiwis admit giving and receiving presents is the highlight of their day.

New Christmas fads are creeping in: touring streets decorated with Christmas lights is popular with 56 percent of us, while 26 percent festoon the outside of their own homes. Although two in three still send Christmas cards, one in three Kiwis now hop online to send a Christmas message.


1 The Leading Edge surveyed a representative sample of 259 New Zealanders for Reader’s Digest during October 2006.

Poll results are on our website from 6 pm 27 November 2006

What we cherish
Celebrating with family 73%
Eating a roast dinner and Christmas pudding 72%
Eating inside 69%
Sending Christmas cards 66%
Decorating tree as a family 65%
Santa Claus 47%
Hanging Christmas stockings 42%
Buying all family a present 41%
Making a Christmas fruitcake 36%
Buying a real Christmas tree 36%
Carols by Candlelight 31%
Going to Church 26%
Watching the Queen’s message 20%

What we’ve abandoned
Watching the Queen’s message 47%
Making a Christmas fruitcake 42%
Going to Church 41%
Carols by Candlelight 37%
Buying a real Christmas tree 22%
Hanging Christmas stockings 20%
Buying all family a present 19%
Decorating tree as a family 14%
Santa Claus 12%
Sending Christmas cards 8%
Eating a roast dinner and Christmas pudding 7%
Celebrating with family 7%
Easting inside 5%

We asked New Zealanders to sum up their feelings for Christmas in just one word. We sought spontaneous answers – we gave no prompts. Here are the most mentioned:



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