Table of Contents

Introduction

In this insight report, we look at the expectations that Irish consumers have this Christmas. Due to COVID-19, consumers have different fears when it comes to the holiday season and in this report, we deliver insights into how their habits have changed and how they are feeling about Christmas this year. The responses were gathered in our Bolt Bundle, with 1723 respondents.

Spending

This Christmas period is unprecedented, with spending habits changing quite a bit due to COVID-19. We asked our panel how their Christmas spending has changed this year in comparison to recent years. 32.97% of respondents said they will spend less money this year compared to previous years. Another 31.51% said they will spend the same amount of money as last year, while 35.52% of respondents said they will spend more than usual.

Line chart of the changes to Christmas spending this year in comparison to recent year, with 32.97% saying "I have spent/will spend less money" and 35.52% saying "I have spent/will spend more money".

For the individuals who are spending more this Christmas, the one of the most popular reasons given was that they wanted to spoil themselves and their loved ones considering how awful the year has been. There were also responses that mentioned that they had saved up more this year than usual and therefore had more to spend. The convenience of online shopping was also listed as a reason that they were shopping more and spending money.

For respondents who are spending the same or less this Christmas, many of them mentioned that they just have less income overall this Christmas and therefore can’t spend much. Others mentioned that they are seeing less people and don’t need to buy as many gifts. There were also a lot of respondents who mentioned that due to restrictions they are not going out as much as they would during a normal Christmas period and are saving money that way. 

Travel

37.2% of respondents said they will be travelling as normal during the Christmas period to visit family and friends, though the majority of respondents (62.8%) will not be travelling as they usually would during the period.

Pie chart of whether respondents will be travelling as normal to visit family and friends this year for Christmas, with 37.2% saying yes.

Positive Emotions

Nearly 1 in 5 respondents (19.44%) are not at all excited in the build up to the Christmas period. The largest portion of respondents (38.94%) said they were slightly excited for Christmas, while only 12.13% were extremely excited for the holiday. We asked respondents what they are looking forward to the most this Christmas in a multiple choice question. The majority of respondents (64.65%) selected Relaxing, while roughly a half listed Seeing friends and family. Only one fifth of respondents (21.13%) were most looking forward to going out to restaurants and bars.

Negative Emotions

We also asked respondents to identify what they were least looking forward to this Christmas. The highest response with 61.17% of respondents selecting it was the fear of COVID-19 spreading. 22.11% of respondents listed loneliness / isolation and another 28.38% listed the economic burden / pressure to spend money. Interestingly, 13.12% selected none of the above, which would indicate that they aren’t too worried during this Christmas period. 

We asked how respondents expect this Christmas to be different in comparison to recent years. The most frequent word mentioned in all the responses was “less”, and that reflects the broad attitudes from respondents that there will be less social interactions, going out  or time spent with family this Christmas.

Line chart of what respondents are least looking forward to this Christmas, with 61.17% stating "fear of Covid-19 spreading", 28.38% stating "the economic burden / pressure to spend money", 22.11% stating "loneliness / isolation"

New Years Resolutions

We asked respondents whether they plan on taking up any New Year’s resolutions this year. 60.19% answered no, with 39.81% of respondents saying yes. The respondents who intend to take up New Years resolutions listed self-improvement and motivations as a common reason for doing it. Many respondents also said that it is a tradition and they do it every year. The respondents who said they don’t take up New Year’s resolutions mentioned that they never stick to them and they don’t last very long. There was a general attitude that new year resolutions were not a meaningful way of making new habits/improvements in your life.

Pie chart of the amount of respondents who plan to take up a New Year's Resolution this year, with 39.81% saying yes.

Key Takeaways

  • 32.97% of respondents said they will spend less money this year compared to previous years.
  • The majority of respondents (62.8%) will not be travelling as they usually would during the Christmas period.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 respondents (19.44%) are not at all excited in the build up to the Christmas period. 
  • 64.65% of respondents are most looking forward to relaxing this Christmas.

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