The 'Instagrammable' Christmas

We explore how people can balance festive joy with social media!

December 13, 2023
David Gough
December 13, 2023
David Gough

For many, Christmas is all about the presents, the festivities, the games, the long walks on boxing day, the food, the drink… but it’s not without its challenges. Whether that’s finding the perfect present, or making sure everyone enjoys the Christmas dinner (and that families get along), for those in charge of the festivities, there is plenty to organise and plenty to get ‘right’.

And over the last decade or so there’s something else that we now need to consider… is our Christmas ‘Instagrammable’?

In fact, our new Ceres Christmas research* shows that 1 in 4 people actually spend more at Christmas due to Instagram ‘pressure’ – with young people and parents particularly susceptible, as the numbers rises to 44% for 18-24 year olds, 45% for 25-34 year olds and over half (51%) of 35-44 year olds. Traditionally ‘in charge of Christmas’, it’s no surprise perhaps that women are also more likely to feel the burden than men - 66% vs 47%.  But, 6 in 10 women who do feel the worry resist the urge to spend more, compared with just 4 in 10 men!!

Previously when it came to Christmas dinner the important thing was that everything was ready at the same time, it was hot,  the turkey wasn’t too dry, and you had enough to feed everyone, without having to live on turkey sandwiches for the next week!  But now the presentation is almost as important – especially if you have Gen Zs at your table, with 3 in 10 of them claiming how it looks is more important that how it tastes, and 6 in 10 planning to share a picture of their Christmas dinner online. But it’s not just Gen Zs who will have their phones out, the majority of 25-34 year olds (64%) and 35-44 year olds will be sharing a snap too (54%)!

The dinner table is not the only time we’ll all have our phones out on Christmas Day though. Our research shows that 1 in 10 of us will be checking social media feeds immediately after we wake up, with more than half of under 45s checking within an hour, and 1 in 10 people hitting the sales online on Christmas Day too looking to snap up those potential bargains, or buy the present they actually wanted.

Sadly though, just 1 in 3 of us say we will avoid social media feeds completely on Christmas day to focus on spending time with friends and family.

So maybe this year, it’s time to put the phones away, and actually live your best life rather than try to prove you are. I’ll be the first to admit though that’s easier said than done!

*This survey was taken by 209 respondents on both mobile and desktop devices and all were based in the UK.
The study ran between the 17th -22nd November 2023. The sample was nationally representative of gender, age and region.