The countdown to Christmas 2020

With fewer than 100 days to go until Christmas, and let’s be honest, it’s going to be a strange one this year as uncertainty continues to be a major factor that influencing the approaching festivities.

To help brands connect during the festive period, we conducted new research about how people are feeling. Here’s what we found. 

This is part of a broader project we’ve done called #HistoryInTheTweeting, which explores how 2020 is shaping people’s lives by analysing billions of Tweets before and during lockdown Find out more here 

People are stressed about Christmas. 40% of people are feeling more stressed compared to previous years. On our Christmas cheer-ometer, there’s a range from excited to neutral and bah humbug. This could be partially caused by it still being September.

We’re also expecting it to be less joyful 6 in 10 people say that COVID-19 will take away some of their Christmas joy, this is especially true for young people. Worth noting that people also said they understand these adjustments are necessary, given the context.

Expect community to be more important than ever. 34% of people feel more connected to their local community than ever before. 

But it’s not just physical communities. You know those online communities you feel part of on Twitter? Well you’re not alone. 39% feel more connected online than they were a year ago, rising to 72% for people aged 18-24s.

While there’s a lot of joy at Christmas, it can also be a difficult time for some. A third of people say they expect to feel more lonely this Christmas than they did last year. Because 2020…

We’ll need to look out for each other even more this Christmas. 54% say they have a lot of things on their mind that they’re not talking about to others.

At the time of research, people are still very mindful of social distancing. Currently 66% of us have reduced the amount of activities we do outside of our homes. We expect this will influence how we all socialise at Christmas.

Against a backdrop of social distancing, Christmas - a time of rituals and get togethers - will be different this year.

In the absence of physical get togethers, we’re planning to connect online with our friends and family. 49% are still connecting with them virtually more than before lockdown. And all of us, especially young people, are looking for ways to fill the void online.

Not everyone is worried about doing less and seeing fewer people. 48% are actually looking forward to a quieter festive season ( we see you introverts).

So what does this all mean for brands this Christmas? Well we asked that too…

Is it time to ditch the reflective and sombre ads? The jury’s out…

Half of us say we’re bored of them and half of us want to see ads that distract us from the situation we’re in...

What do people want from brands this Christmas? They want brands to focus on getting the basics right.

Interestingly, what people want from brands this Christmas tends to vary by age group too. When we break it down this is what we see

Across the board, however, people want brands to have a positive tone of voice this Christmas, and this is particularly true of young people.

So there you have it, a glance at how people are feeling about Christmas in this life changing year. It will be different, it will be harder, but we’ll get through it together. Our final advice to brands: be kind, be generous, be true.

1. Twitter Insiders, UK, 11th September, n=451

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