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Countdown reveals Kiwis’ Christmas traditions

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After an unprecedented year, most of us are looking forward to 2020 being a distant memory.

Despite this - or because of it - new research from Countdown identifies that Kiwis are getting into the festive spirit early, and only a few of us are feeling worried about the potential of a Christmas lockdown.

Countdown has surveyed almost 1500 Kiwis about Christmas; what it means to them and what traditions are a must-do on the most magical day of the year.

The research reveals that most of us are celebrating our main meal at lunchtime with a hot ham, we’re listening to Snoopy’s Christmas, aren’t too shy to pop a bottle of celebratory bubbles first thing in the morning, and lots of us under the age of 30 are starting the day with chocolate.

Countdown’s research shows that Kiwis’ top ten Christmas activities are:

Spending time with family and friends:

Almost 80 per cent of Kiwis say that the thing that makes Christmas Day special is being with family and loved ones.

Parents say that the act of giving is just as important as being with family. Seeing the joy on children's faces as they open presents from mum, dad or Santa really makes the heart melt. And while Covid is never far from our minds, almost 70 per cent of people surveyed say they weren’t feeling worried about a potential lockdown over Christmas.

Eating Christmas treats:

Although Kiwis love a BBQ in summer, Christmas fare remains steeped in old traditions. When asked what people’s must-have food on the Christmas table, almost a quarter of people say that hot ham was a must. Closely following was the iconic Kiwi favourite, the pavlova. Other must-haves included a leg of lamb, turkey and trifle. Christmas cake didn’t fare so well, with none of the age-groups surveyed picking it as their top treat.

Christmas lunch:

The main Christmas meal for more than half of us is at lunch time whilst 13 per cent of us have multiple Christmas locations and meals. And while a traditional Christmas is often portrayed with Santa in the snow, families wearing ugly Christmas jumpers, drinking eggnog and watching the Queen’s Speech, in fact only a third of us tune in to see what she has to say and the majority of them are 60 years or over.

Opening presents:

On Christmas morning, more than 60 per cent of Kiwis told us that their favourite thing to do was open presents. Whether that’s presents from Santa, from friends and family, or something to keep the kids entertained before breakfast.

Relax on Boxing Day:

Boxing Day is all about relaxing and eating leftovers from the day before. While more than 70 per cent of us sit back and eat the leftover ham and treats, the rest of us are either going to the shops for the sales or hitting the beach.

Listening to Christmas music:

Snoopy’s Christmas is the crowd favourite when it comes to Christmas songs, surprisingly beating Maria Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You for the top spot.

Champagne for breakfast

Almost a quarter of us like to start the day with a glass of bubbles at breakfast. It’s a day of love, celebration and festivities so what better way to start the day than popping open a bottle of champagne.

Countdown’s general manager of merchandise Steve Mills says that it feels like this Christmas means more than usual, after a really uncertain year for Kiwis.

“I think that it's fair to say that after one of the most challenging years in history we’re all ready for Christmas. It’s another busy time in our stores and for our teams, but I think all of us across the country are feeling grateful for the chance to celebrate with our customers, family and friends.

“Interestingly almost 70 per cent of Kiwis don’t tend to put out a plate for Santa on Christmas Eve. However for those of us that do partake in leaving a little treat for the big guy, a glass of milk or beer is always popular, and our favourite treat for Santa is cookies, plus a few carrots for the reindeer,” says Steve.

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