Research conducted by BakeAway, the UK’s leading manufacturer of pastry, dough, and pancakes, has revealed that it’s out with expensive days out this year and in with festivities at home.

Santa Express train rides, trips to visit Santa and costly pantos are being replaced with homespun festive fun, Christmas baking, and kitchen get-togethers, with 72% of parents planning more festivities at home this Christmas, to keep costs down.

Christmas Eve traditions are set to stay for 2023 with three in 10 parents confirming they create Christmas Eve boxes and treat their children to a new pair of PJs on Christmas Eve. Elf on the Shelf is still having its moment, with more than one in five of parents affirming it is their number one Christmas tradition to do as a family.

That said, although new Christmas traditions are certainly creeping in, traditional Christmas activities are here to stay with 35% of UK adults saying that filling their Christmas stockings is their favourite Christmas tradition, with the data further revealing that 84% of Gen Z’ said Christmas is the one time of year that they get to get creative in the kitchen and bake their favourite festive bakes with their families.

The Christmas traditions, fun, games and baking stretches to decoration with the key baking activities for UK adults being:

  • Baking cookies and brownies (22%)
  • Decorating ready-made cookies, and pancake stacks (16%)
  • Decorating gingerbread house (14%)
  • Lighting up the Christmas pudding (12%)

That said, as a nation of health-conscious Brits, even at Christmas, healthier choices are still a consideration, with 76% of UK adults are aiming to try and make healthier choices when it comes to selecting their Christmas food and drink.

The data further reveals that Brits have divided opinions when it comes to Christmas traditions. Southerners choose baking over festive days out, and northerners enjoying a festive night in on Christmas Eve to exchange Christmas Eve boxes. 

  • Over a quarter of people living in the Midlands bake cookies and brownies at Christmas compared to only 17% of Scottish people
  • 76% of southerners say baking for them is all about the time spent together, rather than the actually baking from scratch
  • 44% of people living in the South West said their favourite Christmas tradition is filling their Christmas Stockings, whereas over half of people living in the North East love gifting festive pyjamas on Christmas Eve
  • Only 7% of those in the Midlands and South enjoyed lighting up the Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day, in comparison to a whopping 25% in the North West
  • Over a quarter of residents in the North East love to carry on the Christmas tradition of singing their Christmas carols to their community, while the North West are not quite as ready to go singing door-to-door at only 8%
  • 74% of Southerners bake more as a family at Christmas compared to only 40% of northerners
  • Opening a Christmas Eve box was a hit across the board, with at least a fifth of each region partaking in the tradition, and the highest being 48% in the North East
  • And finally, the controversial topic of brussels sprouts, love them or hate them, it seems that the West Midlands are the biggest brussels sprout lovers with 34% saying they are a must-have on Christmas Day

Marketing Manager, Jennie Bosson said: “BakeAway products are easy to use and provide perfect festive at-home activities and entertainment for the family to enjoy. We want to encourage families to take part in some festive baking and spend quality time in the kitchen with their loved ones.

“We work our retail partners to deliver easy to use and delicious products, that everyone will love. During the run up to Christmas BakeAway sales rise by c.300%*, showing that more and more families are getting into the festive spirit and baking together at Christmas.”