• New research from Virgin Media O2 reveals that nearly a quarter (23%) of Christmas hosts expect guests to financially contribute towards the big day, jumping to over half (53%) among Gen Z. 
  • Two thirds (66%) of festive gift givers who have purchased video games as a present don’t download them the night before, which could lead to long delays in play time on Christmas morning.  
  • The research also unveils the common Christmas connectivity mishaps in homes across the UK which could put them on the naughty list. 

With Christmas Day fast approaching, and the cost of entertaining guests set to be more expensive than last year*, new research from Virgin Media O2 reveals that more than half (53%) of Gen Z would expect friends and family to contribute towards celebrations for the big day.  

Whilst Gen Z top the list of those looking to clawback some cash when hosting, a third (34%) of Millennials would also expect guests to contribute towards the price of food, drinks, WiFi and energy bills over the festive season. At the opposite end, only one in ten (9%) Baby boomers, those aged between 59-77, would consider charging guests. 

The research also reveals Brits’ common connectivity mishaps at Christmas time, with one in three (34%) Gen Z broadband users admitting to having risked their connectivity in the past by wrapping their broadband router in tinsel, compared to Baby boomers who are more than 11x less likely to do the same (3%). 

The ‘decorative don’ts’ don’t stop there, with nearly two thirds (59%) of festive fanatics putting their Christmas lights in the same room as their broadband router which could interfere with their WiFi. 

With millions of households across the country rushing to play with new gadgets, stream festive films and video call loved ones, connectivity on Christmas day is a modern day must, so it’s no surprise that half of Brits (50%) said that a poor broadband connection could put a damper on their day. 

Despite this reliance on connectivity, two thirds (66%) of Brits fail to prepare ahead of the big day by not downloading software updates for tech gadgets and video games they’re gifting, delaying play when they’re unwrapped on Christmas day. 

While games and consoles are regulars on Christmas gift lists, it seems being present during the day divides the room, as nearly half (48%) of those that celebrate Christmas would enforce a screen time limit on their guests to ensure everyone is spending quality time together. Luckily for Christmas hosts, Virgin Media’s Connect App means those with Virgin Media broadband can keep guests in check by pausing internet access to their respective devices, so there’s plenty of time to celebrate the festivities together. 

To help broadband users have a ‘sleigh’ connection this Christmas, Virgin Media O2 is providing some tips:  

  1. ‘Twas the night before Christmas: Putting out a few carrots for the reindeer isn’t the only thing broadband users should be doing on Christmas Eve. Try to download any important software updates for any tech gifts such as games consoles, mobile phones or tablets so that they can be enjoyed once unwrapped with no delays. 
  2. Silent lights: Avoid putting festive lights in close proximity to your devices as they can cause WiFi interference to your Hub and Pod. 
  3. Don’t deck the Hubs: Avoid putting tinsel anywhere near your Hub, it’s made out of foil so could interfere with your WiFi by it reflecting the signal. 
  4. Let it load! Let it load! Let it load!: Our research revealed that streaming movies was the second most popular Christmas Day activity. If you’re not with Virgin Media, try to download movies the night before so you don’t have to worry about any delays to the family Christmas film. 

Alongside gigabit broadband speeds and a host of TV favourites via Virgin TV 360 or Stream, Virgin Media customers can benefit from its market-leading WiFi guarantee, offering download speeds of at least 30Mbps in every room or £100 credit back; perfect for lots of new devices to be connected to this festive season. 


Notes to Editor 

*Cost of Christmas dinner set to rise in ‘record-breaking’ festive grocery spree | Business News | Sky News 

Survey by Censuswide of 2,000 UK adults that celebrate Christmas. 

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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