Press release

Queen's speech a 'turn off' for Christmas

Monday 13 December 2010

  • HALF of under 50s, and 39% of over 50s could switch OFF when the Queen’s speech starts
  • 4% of 18-24 year olds think the Christmas Tree was introduced by Coca-Cola
  • 91% of over 50s say family lunch makes Christmas

Tradition dictates that the festive turkey, family, friends and the Queens Speech are the ingredients of a great Christmas. But this year almost half of under 50s (46%) and 39% of over 50s say that the Queens speech does not make them feel festive so could be turning off, or switching channels when it starts this year.

Over 50s have historically been considered the stalwarts of tradition with the Queens speech one of the staples of Christmas, but this year it’s not just the Queens speech they’re happy to drop. One in three over 50s (31%) would happily give drinks with the neighbours a miss – suggesting those physically near to us are not necessarily our dearest on Christmas day.

But there are some traditions that hold fast with 91% of the over 50s questioned saying they could not do without the tradition of Christmas lunch with the family and 96% feel that Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without seeing the family at all.

Emma Soames, Editor at large for Saga Magazine said: “Understanding the mindset of the over 50s is what Saga is all about and these results give us a picture of an evolving group of people, who value tradition but who are also moving with the times. When I was a teenager everyone watched the Queen’s Speech. Those of us who wanted to rebel refused to stand up when the national anthem was played at the beginning. But if all age groups would be happy turning it off where’s the fun in that? Let’s hope this year’s speech by the Queen reflects changing attitudes and gets us all turning it on again.”

Saga questioned 2000 adults about their Christmas plans in a bid to understand changing Christmas traditions and what is going to be important to people this year.

When it comes to traditional food, more than one in three over 50s (38%) will make their own mince pies compared to only 27 per cent of under 50s. A further one in three (35%) will prepare their own stuffing; and the over 50s are twice as likely to create their own Christmas pudding (21%) compared to the under 50s (10%).

The over 50s are more in tune with the history of our Christmas traditions. While 88 per cent of people agreed that a tree was a Christmas essential, many younger people are not aware of its origins. Two in three over 50s (66%) correctly identified Prince Albert as the person responsible for introducing the Christmas tree to the UK, compared to 43 per cent of those under 50. Almost one in seven people under 50 (14%) said that the Pagans first brought us the Christmas tree, while one in twenty (4%) 18–24 year olds thought this tradition was down to Coca-Cola.

Despite the fondness we hold for our trees, the majority of people will not be making decorations themselves this year. Just 13 per cent of the over 50s will create DIY decorations compared to 21% of under 50s.

  • There are high levels of creativity in the East of England. One in five (21%) will make their own decorations, 22 per cent will make their own Christmas cards and 10 per cent will make a Christmas wreath.
  • The North East is the most family–orientated region, with just 7 per cent saying they could do without sharing Christmas lunch with their family, compared to 13 per cent of those from the East Midlands.
  • Just one in five people from Yorkshire (20%) would miss out on drinks with their neighbours, compared to 37 per cent of Londoners.


Notes to Editors

Research undertaken by YouGov among a GB representative sample of 1985 adults between 26th and 29th November 2010.

For further information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.



    Press Office

    01303 771529