While it may come as no surprise that 71 per cent of Brits are planning for smaller gatherings this Christmas, new research from Barclays Digital Eagles reveals festive cheer is well and truly alive, as over half (53 per cent) are making plans to ensure this year’s celebrations are more special than ever.
The study by Barclays Digital Eagles, found that tech will be key to getting this Christmas wrapped up, with people revealing that they plan to make the most of their devices to connect with their friends and family, and find new ways to celebrate old traditions.
With 62 per cent of Brits planning to put a greater emphasis on festive family traditions this year, the findings showed a quarter (24 per cent) of people intend to play favourite festive carols whilst on video calls with family, a third (33 per cent) will be gathering around their devices as a way to share in the annual re-telling of family stories and over a quarter (27 per cent) plan to pick up their phones first thing to enjoy a virtual toast with a Bucks Fizz on Christmas morning.
Furthermore, the average household is planning to extend their Christmas gathering by five people through virtual means and half (50 per cent) also plan to use tech specifically to celebrate with their elderly relatives.
However, with the help of the Barclays Digital Eagles, this year, the older generation have some festive surprises of their own, after over 4,000 care home residents and staff have been upskilled to help grow their digital confidence and connect with their friends and family. This is part of a commitment by the Digital Eagles who have worked with 500 care homes during 2020.
To celebrate their new-found virtual skills and to mark the beginning of the festive season, Barclays Digital Eagles has brought together a group of care home residents in a virtual video Christmas card for family and friends. The singalong, conducted by celebrity vocal coach Carrie Grant, sees residents of Springfield House care home, in Southampton, perform a rendition of Jingle Bells, the most popular Christmas classic as voted by the public (51 per cent). The video can be viewed here.
The residents will be putting the skills they’ve learned via the Digital Eagles programme to good use and will be sending their virtual video Christmas cards to their loved ones to spread festive cheer.
Barclays Digital Eagle, Liam Mitchell, says, “Our virtual singalong Christmas card showcases how digital skills and music can bring families together during a festive season that’s set to be different from last year.
“We’re really proud of the work we’ve been doing with care homes up and down the country – enabling residents to stay connected with their families, via our Digital Eagles who have upskilled them to use virtual conferencing platforms and social messaging tools. We hope the choir will help to spread some festive cheer for the residents and families alike.”
Carrie Grant MBE, celebrity vocal coach and choirmaster for the Barclays Digital Eagles Care Home Choir comments, “It has been so great to be a part of this initiative. Carols at Christmas are a tradition that many families enjoy – so it’s been wonderful bringing some festive fun to care home residents, which they in turn can share with their families. In addition to their singing skills and enthusiasm, I was very impressed with the residents’ technical abilities – it’s a set of skills that will be so valuable to the them throughout the festive period and beyond.”
Margie Porter from Springfield House in Southampton comments, “Thanks to Barclays Digital Eagles training the wonderful care home staff with all things technology, I’ve been able to stay in touch with my family throughout the pandemic. And I’ve enjoyed using my new-found technical skills, passed on from the care home staff, to take part in the virtual Christmas card.”
On average, the traditions Brits will be reviving through technology this year have been with families for four generations. Half of Brits (51 per cent) of Brits are planning on making virtual ‘tweaks’ where needed to keep them going in 2020.
Top 10 ways families plan to make their virtual Christmas magical include:
- Opening presents on Christmas Day
- Enjoy Christmas lunch/dinner
- Re-telling family favourite stories
- Re-telling family jokes
- A Bucks Fizz toast on Christmas morning
- Playing party games/charades
- Showing off Christmas jumpers
- Sharing festive food/drink recipes
- A festive singalong with family and friends
- Watching the Queen’s speech