86% of consumers expect a ‘digital Christmas’ with presents opened over Zoom and personalised gifts sent from afar

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Research from Motif Photos, the global photo book printing app, has revealed that five out of six UK consumers expect this year to be a ‘digital Christmas’ without the usual get-togethers of friends and family. Two-thirds of people plan to make this year more special by placing extra emphasis on giving thoughtful, personalised gifts to spread the Christmas and holiday cheer from afar. 

COVID-19 restrictions around the country will prevent us from following all of our favourite Christmas traditions such as spending the day with our wider friends and family together. Christmas will take place under our new sense of normal.

The top traditional activities that won’t take place this year are:

  • Attending Midnight Mass – 88% of those who went to Mass last year will not attend this year
  • Visiting Santa’s Grotto with Children – 81.4% of those who went to Santa’s Grotto last year do not expect to go this year
  • Going for Christmas drinks with friends – 81.2% of respondents who usually go out with friends at Christmas don’t think they’ll be able to this year 
  • Visiting a Christmas market – 80.7% of people who usually visit a Christmas market won’t go to one this year

This year’s ‘digital Christmas’ won’t just mean celebrating remotely; gift buying will take place online too. Three-quarters of consumers (75.4%) say they will buy presents online to avoid going to the shops.

Making a ‘digital Christmas’ more special

To make this year a little better, two-thirds of consumers are already thinking about how to make Christmas special without all of these traditional activities.

The top of the list is that we won’t be opening gifts in isolation. 41% of respondents said they will open gifts over Zoom (or via a video call) so that these precious moments can be shared with others. Motif can help you close the distance to your friends and family through photobooks, cards and calendars. 

The research found that this year we’re going to place extra effort into giving personalised gifts to our family.

Four in 10 consumers stated that they will create personalised gifts to give to family members they won’t see on Christmas day. Almost a quarter (23%) plan to send out homemade or photo Christmas cards, one in seven (14%) will make their own gifts this year and 8% plan to share fond memories via a photobook.

Craig Bauer, global managing director at Motif Photos, commented: “2020 will be the year of the digital Christmas. Not only do we plan to do significantly more Christmas shopping online and earlier than ever due to COVID, we expect to be opening presents over Zoom or Facetime rather than visiting friends and family. Even the traditional visit to Santa is likely to happen virtually, with 8 out of 10 parents avoiding a visit to Santa’s Grotto.

“However, we’re already thinking about other ways we are able to make Christmas special for our cu