A call for more carols and traditions as parents strive to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well.
Parents across the UK are pulling the plug on the high-tech age in an attempt to keep things traditional when it comes to giving their children the type of Christmas that that they remember.
Customs such as writing letters to children from Santa and singing carols are on the up along with getting the whole family cooking together, a new survey from the Enid Blyton Estate reveals.
In fact, despite the evidence that children are getting wiser to the fact that Santa may not exist, earlier on in their childhood, this is not affecting the light and hope that Christmas brings.
The study – commissioned to mark the launch of Enid Blyton’s Christmas Stories, The Famous Five Annual and The Magic Faraway Tree 75th Anniversary Edition– found that children, on average, stopped believing in Father Christmas two years earlier than their parents did. The average age for children to stop believing is now six years old, whilst for their parents, it was eight years old.
Almost half of the children surveyed in the UK aged 7-11, still believe in Father Christmas thanks to the fact that 90% of adults are going to great lengths to keep children believing in this special time.
There are regional differences too. Children from London stop believing in Father Christmas as early as five years old whilst in Yorkshire & Humberside, they keep the faith until they are seven.
26% of children surveyed said they were upset and it ruined Christmas for them when they were told that Father Christmas didn’t exist.
The survey also shows:
· Traditions on the decline include gathering round the TV to listen to The Queen’s Speech and hanging up stockings on Christmas Eve
· Britons are less likely to have a regimented routine to make sure all family and friends get a visit over the festive period
· Reading Christmas books is gaining in popularity along with helping mum cook the Christmas lunch and stirring the Christmas pudding for luck
· Carol singing is also enjoying a revival
· Most parents believe they are winning the battle against Christmas being too commercial - only 36% think Christmas is now mainly about the giving and receiving of presents
· Only 20% think that people spend less time getting together over Christmas than when they were young, despite the lure of social media and gaming amongst younger generations
Head of the Enid Blyton Estate Marlene Johnson said: "When it comes to British life it does not get any more traditional than Enid Blyton but we wanted to see just how hard parents are working to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Like Blyton it seems tradition is still just as relevant today – sometimes even stronger - as we strive to retain the specialness of the season. Her portrayals of childhood are particularly emotive around the festive period, when there is a big focus on past traditions."
Christmas specialist Bob Eckstein says “The re-emergence of Christmas traditions, such as singing carols, will help keep Christmas spirit alive and ensure families spend quality time together. It’s wonderful to see that century-old traditions are still relevant and are held dear by many in such a technical age.”
But what is the background to some of these traditions?
Did you know:
· King Henry VIII was the first monarch to include turkey in a Christmas meal, and the tradition of turkey at Christmas spread throughout England during the 17thcentury
· Christmas carols were banned between 1647 and 1660 in England by Oliver Cromwell, who thought that Christmas should be a solemn day
· The first reference to writing letters to Father Christmas is from the 1200’s, although the tradition of writing to Santa asking for gifts didn’t become popular until the late 1800’s
I also have some copies of the Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five Annual and The Christmas Book to give away to my readers. Check out rafflecopter below to enter.