Brits put family first this Christmas as TV ratings, shopping and social media use plummet

BRITS put family first this Christmas Day after a Covid-hit year – as TV-viewing, social media use and shopping all plummeted on the big day.

Traditionalists cheered a return to how Christmas used to be – with loved ones the priority.

TV ratings slumped and use of apps including Facebook and Instagram tumbled, said Britain’s top psychologist, Sir Cary Cooper.

Christmas Day online shopping fell for the first time in 22 years – with one in four Brits ditching web spending on December 25, the Shopping for Christmas 2020 report by the Centre for Retail Research showed.

Video calls soared as Brits not seeing relatives in person still enjoyed face-to-face chats – with whole-family Zoom get-togethers planned.

And far more board games and walks than normal took place on December 25, experts say.

With big TV shows set for disappointing viewing figures, the Queen’s 3pm speech could top ratings with her rallying call over Covid.

December 25 online shopping slumped by £139million from last year, the first fall in December 25 spending since internet shopping began in 1998.
£1.05billion will be spent, with 2.9 million fewer web shoppers this Christmas Day.

Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at Manchester Business School, said: “People have realised what’s important this year and will prioritise family time on Christmas Day. It’s a return to how Christmas used to be.

“People will turn the TV off to put family first, with social media use also down as social media isn’t social – it’s antisocial to the people around you.

“People have done online shopping for months this year so fewer people will want to spend Christmas Day pursuing material things online.

“And it’ll be a Facetime Christmas with video calls right up as people want to see those they can’t be with.

“Traditional games and the numbers of people walking on Christmas Day will also go up.”

The Centre for Retail Research said: “After a challenging year for retailers, spending on Christmas Day will fall short of 2019. Fewer people are planning to shop online.”

The shopping fall reverses the trend of the past decade, as more and more people have snubbed family time to shop online on Christmas Day.

Spending yesterday will still be double that of an average day as bargain-hunters logon to snap up the first 80 per cent-off price-cuts of the Boxing Day sales.

Stores are stuck with unsold stock mountains after lockdowns and Tier 4 restrictions.

Big-sellers will be electronic items. Amazon trends show music downloads and movies will be popular.

Convenience stores and garages are expected to pocket around £100million in Christmas Day spending as small shops cash in on big stores being closed, with last-minute gifts, food, alcohol and flowers popular purchases.

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