TV and Online: How the Irish Celebrate Christmas

eir Connected Living survey reveals an increase in spending, a date with the Late Late Toy Show and an instagrammed festive dinner

  •          Three out of four parents of children (5-17 years) plan to watch the Late Late Toy show tonight
  •          Over half of teens (16-24 year olds) will tune in to the Toy Show
  •          Spending is increasing - parents will spend an average of €771 on gifts this year
  •          61% of all adults said that they plan to watch a Christmas movie this year
  •          One in five will post photos of their Christmas dinner online

Christmas officially begins this week with the broadcast of the Late Late Toy Show, and a new survey has shown that the iconic TV show still has a very special place in our hearts. The latest eir Connected Living Survey1 reveals that three out of four parents of children (5-17 years) plan to watch the show this year, and even the younger generation aren't immune - over half of 16-24 year olds will tune in.

Emotions run high regarding the Late Late Toy show and younger people (under 35) are more likely to see it as a family tradition and hold it in high regard. As well as gathering the family around the TV for the event, phones, tablets and laptops will be out in force commenting on the must-have toys; in 2014, 20% of those under 35 who watched the show also tweeted about it.

The cost of Christmas

The eir Connected Living survey also delved into the other aspects of the Irish family Christmas, and found that people are planning to spend the same amount - or slightly more - on Christmas this year compared to last year. On average, we will spend €544 on Christmas presents this year, although parents will spend an average of €771 on gifts. In addition, 40% plan to shop for Christmas presents online, spending an average of 17% of their overall budget this way.

Unsurprisingly, the Christmas shopping spree will begin in earnest next week. As part of the eir survey, men admitted to starting their shopping later in the festive season, with 54% waiting until December to begin, compared to 37% of women.

Christmas viewing

Christmas day is still centred around the home and family and 61% of all adults said that they plan to watch a Christmas movie this year; 'Home Alone' is the nation’s favourite, with 21% citing it as a must-watch. It is closely followed by 'Santa Claus the movie' (9%), 'Miracle on 34th Street' (7%), 'It's a Wonderful Life' (7%) and 'Elf' (5%). As well as films, a third of Irish people spend Christmas day playing board games. Connecting online is popular too, and one in five will Skype family and friends living abroad with 22% of 16-24 year olds already planning to post pictures of their Christmas dinner online.

"Christmas is definitely a time when we reconnect with friends and family and despite advances in technology many Irish people still adhere to traditions," commented Lisa Comerford, Director of Brand and Communications, eir consumer. "We know from our eir vision customers that TV plays a central role in festivities and it’s no surprise that the Late Late Toy Show is such a family favourite. Even with teens and young adults – although they may not publicly admit it!"

The eir Connected Living Survey is a nationwide survey undertaken by eir to understand the usage and impact of technology in Irish homes. As Ireland’s largest telecommunications provider, the eir Connected Living Survey records the social changes experienced in Ireland as a result of technology and innovation. The annual survey, taken across 1,013 Irish households nationwide, is conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes.

The full report is available online at

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