The Queen at Christmas becoming a ‘family turn-off’

A whopping 81% of British families have admitted they will not be watching the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day this year.

“Every family has their own traditions at Christmas, from crackers and presents to games and afternoon walks. Christmas means different things to different people and that has changed in many ways over the years.  Although our poll reveals that most of us won’t be watching the Queen’s speech while eating our Christmas turkey this year, we may well be otherwise engaged, putting our mobile phones and iPads away to play traditional games of charades with the family.” – Faye Mingo, Marketing Director at Families Online

The finding comes in response to a new festive traditions poll conducted by leading parenting resource, Families Online (, which quizzed families across the country on their ‘lost’ and ‘loved’ Christmas traditions.

Over half (52%) of Christmas-loving families say they put up their Christmas trees and decorations on 1st December (or the first weekend of December) making it the most popular time of the month for making homes feel festive.  A further 28% put their trees up in the second week of December and 10% in the third week, 7% even put theirs up in November and the remaining 3% don’t bother with a tree at all.

Proving times are changing in some ways, yet staying the same in others, the vast majority of families said they will be having turkey for their Christmas dinner this year (75%), while one in ten will have roast beef, with chicken being the next most popular choice followed by goose.  For dessert, 22% of families admitted they don’t like traditional Christmas pudding so won’t be serving it as opposed to the 21% of people that will serve the fruity festive classic.  More than half of British families (57%) said they always opt for a mix of different desserts as everyone has different tastes and preferences.

When it comes to pulling festive crackers, reading tacky jokes and putting on the flimsy paper party hats, a resounding 93% say Christmas dinner would not be the same without crackers, while only 7% say they don’t bother with them.

For those families planning to ‘Rock Around the Christmas Tree’ this season, it’s more likely to be to the sounds of Wham!, Shakin’ Stevens and Michael Bublé, rather than traditional Christmas carols, which have dwindled in popularity over the years. 79% of families say they don’t sing Christmas carols around the tree, but nearly a quarter (22%) of families hoping to keep the tradition alive, say they do.  For those in favour of singing along to traditional carols such as ‘Oh come all ye faithful’, 22% will also journey to their local church for midnight mass come Christmas Eve this year, while 78% say they will be otherwise engaged.

Games are also a popular Christmas tradition for families and this year is no different, nearly half (49%) of us will play traditional board games with our loved ones. Nearly a third of us (32%) will indulge in a spot of classic charades (being the most popular Christmas game), 6% will bring tradition to the digital age by playing their games on a console/device, while 13% can’t think of anything worse than playing games at Christmas.

The poll also revealed that 44% of families will go out for an after-dinner walk this Christmas day in an attempt to walk off some of the calories consumed.

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