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Families are nicer to each other at Christmas than at any other point in the year, it was revealed yesterday.
Research into how we treat one another over the festive season showed Christmas spirit is very much alive – with seven in 10 people believing it DOES exist.
Indeed, nearly three quarters of the 2,000 men and women questioned claimed to avoid arguments altogether during December to avoid spoiling the merry occasion.
Two thirds of Brits say they go the extra mile to make Christmas memorable for their families – from offering to run errands, to helping more around the kitchen and making friendly conversation.
And the goodwill spreads far beyond the home, as 72 per cent of people make an effort to wish strangers a Merry Christmas, using the upcoming holiday as a chanced to connect with others.
Jane Ritchie-Smith of simplybeefandlamb.co.uk, which commissioned the research, said: “Much is said about Christmas being too commercial and the true meaning being lost, but it’s refreshing to see that the holidays do help us to be kinder to one another.
“Whether it is reaching out to others, or simply doing more to help the lives of people closest to us, Christmas still brings us together. It is a time of year when we choose to forget the stresses and strains of everyday life, and celebrate the occasion for what it is – a chance to enjoy the company of the people we love.”
The survey shows 36 per cent of family members actively help out more around the house in the lead up to Christmas, and on the day itself.
A further 26 per cent make more of an effort to cook, tidy and wash up in the kitchen, while 22 per cent will run errands for their other half – such as conducting the food shopping, picking up presents and ferrying people around to parties.
One in 10 people will even do as they are asked WITHOUT grumbling.
The study also reveals seven in 10 Brits are in a far better mood in December than in any other month of the year – which might serve to explain why it is the season of goodwill.
Two thirds of those polled are more likely to help someone they don’t know in December than in any other month of the year.
And people believe that it is easier to communicate with strangers around Christmas time because it offers everyone common ground to talk about.
One in three people might even try to salvage a friendship or working relationship in the lead up to Christmas, preferring to end the year with a clean slate.
More than half of generous folk are choosing to shower their work colleagues with gifts this year, in a bid to improve relations in the workplace.
A chirpy 56 per cent of respondents are aiming to be more charitable in December – with seven in 10 intending to tip people such as the milkman, paper boys and delivery men.
Just over half of those polled believe that while Christmas has become too commercial over the years, it still brings out the best in people.
A fifth genuinely believe people try to be nicer over the festive period, and the same percentage claim Christmas is their favourite time of the year.
Simplybeefandlamb.co.uk spokeswoman Jane Ritchie-Smith continues: “Christmas has become more commercial over the years, and it is understandable why children in particular see the event as a receiving exercise rather than something to be enjoyed as a time for families.
“But people do also get a real buzz out of being nice to others, spending quality time together, and making people feel appreciated.
“As this survey shows, people tend to come together at Christmas time, and surely that is exactly what the occasion should be about.”
Go to www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/christmas to find seasonal recipes from Red Tractor beef and lamb for you and your family to enjoy together this Christmas and look out for the Red Tractor logo when buying beef and lamb this year.
Much is said about Christmas being too commercial and the true meaning being lost, but it’s refreshing to see that the holidays do help us to be kinder to one another.Jane Ritchie-Smith of simplybeefandlamb.co.uk