Seven in 10 Americans plan to participate in more holiday gatherings this year, because they are held virtually, according to a new survey.
A survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that 72% of respondents are participating in at least one virtual celebration this holiday season, and of those, 68% plan to be more social than in previous years.
The results also revealed that 60% of Americans surveyed said virtual celebrations will be the norm for themselves and their family this holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.
For those who celebrated virtually, 93% said it was mainly or in part due to COVID-19.
Carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Asurion Home + protection and home tech support, the survey revealed the ways the pandemic is changing the way the United States celebrates the holiday season.
What they found is that many Christmas gatherings, large and small, will be largely virtual this year; the average holiday gathering online will last almost two hours and will include 11 people in the video celebration.
For those holding virtual celebrations, 69% said that more members of their extended family are expected to join this year than in previous years.
47% of respondents who celebrate virtually even said they expect to see someone join their gathering with whom they haven’t been in contact lately.
And for some of these respondents, they’ve really been out of touch: The average person plans to virtually reconnect with someone this holiday season who they haven’t seen in four years.
Despite the shift to more virtual Christmas celebrations thanks to COVID-19, more than half of those surveyed (56%) said their family is coming up with creative ways to preserve Christmas traditions this year.
Many respondents plan to save a seat for their laptop at the Christmas dinner table. In fact, more than a third of respondents who celebrate virtually will participate in three or more virtual holiday dinners (37%).
And three-quarters of those surveyed (76%) who celebrate virtually said they plan to cook or bake Christmas recipes with friends and family via video this holiday season.
More than half (52%) of those who participate in video meetings will participate in three or more video Christmas Day celebrations with family and friends.
So with many virtual meetings happening this season, what are respondents planning to do on these video calls with their loved ones?
In addition to talking and catching up, respondents are wishing for happy casual parties and will even toast the New Year through their screen.
“This year, as COVID prevents many extended families from celebrating together in person, video celebrations will play a crucial role in keeping them connected during the holidays. But as we know, technology doesn’t always work when we need it. It will be important for families to prepare their technology to ensure their video celebrations run smoothly, so they can focus on what matters most, rather than worrying about their devices, ”said Sarah Day, vice president of marketing for Asurion.
Unfortunately, some people may have trouble joining virtual celebrations; Of those planning virtual celebrations, 45% said they have family members who will not be able to participate.
For those who might be missing something, respondents said it was because their loved ones didn’t know how to use their technology (37%), they didn’t have the Internet (33%), and they didn’t have the right tech devices (31%).
But at least one of those problems could be fixed this year, as 36% plan to gift their family with technology this holiday season.
TOP 10 ACTIVITIES RESPONDENTS PLAN TO CARRY OUT ON VIDEO CALLS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
- Candle lighting
- Christmas gifts online store
- Unwrapping gifts
- Participate in religious / cultural events or celebrations
- Sing Christmas carols
- Have a festive meal together (other than Thanksgiving)
- Eat Thanksgiving dinner
- Toast to the new year
- Informal holidays with good wishes
- Talk / catch up
SHARE these creative ways to celebrate with your loved ones on social media …