Carol service attendance down 25%

The number of people who say they will attend a Christmas carol service this year is 25 per cent lower than it was a few years ago, new research has found.

Top five Christmas global traditions becoming popular in the UK

1. Sending online Christmas cards
2. Visiting a Christmas market
3. Serving panettone
4. Hanging a wreath on the door
5. Putting up an 'Elf on the Shelf' toy

The traditional services are increasingly falling out of favour among UK households, according to a survey by the family history research firm AncestryDNA.

Meanwhile, practises rooted in continental Europe, such as visiting a German-style Christmas market or serving Italian panettone, appear to be becoming more popular.

Ancestry spokesperson, Russell James commented: "Much like these Christmas traditions, new and old, our own British identity has been forged through a process of adoption and adaptation over the centuries.

"We found that the Christmas traditions we now follow are more international than we probably realised..."

The research found 42 per cent fewer people will leave food or drink out for Father Christmas this year and 32 per cent fewer will hang out stockings for presents.

Top five Christmas traditions that people have stopped doing

1. Leaving food/drink out for Father Christmas
2. Hanging out stockings for gifts
3. Playing board games on Christmas Day
4. Placing oranges in stockings 
5. Attending carol services

In contrast, the number of people embracing the western European tradition of visiting a Christmas market is set to rise by 27 per cent, while 16 per cent more people will serve panettone.

Buying presents for loved ones, eating a roast dinner and buying a Christmas tree have been voted the most popular festive traditions.

95 per cent will exchange gifts, 91 per cent shall eat a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and 90 per cent will put up a Christmas tree.

Russell James added: "As a nation, it's fantastic to see that we've reached the point where celebrating diversity goes hand in hand with how we embrace the pastimes of other cultures, particularly during occasions such as Christmas, whether these are passed down through family and friends, brought home from travels or simply taken from popular culture."

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