For many Canadians, the holiday season is time to finish last-minute shopping, get ready for a turkey dinner or two and travel to make that big family get together.
You might think the holiday season would bring pressure to get everything perfect, but a recent Forum Research poll suggests the majority of Canadians shrug off the anxieties of the festive season.
According to the poll — which was conducted among a random sample of 1,601 people aged 18 and above — about 57 per cent of respondents say their holidays are stress-free, with just 11 per cent saying it’s a very stressful time.
That result “may come as a surprise to anyone shopping on December 24,” said Lorne Bozinoff, founder and president of Forum Research, in a news release.
This is, after all, also the time of year for self-help guides on how to manage all that holiday stress.
Many Canadians simply consider the holiday season as a time to be with their families, Bozinoff said. According to the poll, more than 80 per cent of respondents said they’ll spend the holidays with their families, while only 5 per cent said they’ll be by themselves.
The poll found an overwhelming majority of Canadians (88 per cent) say they enjoy the holiday season. That’s true for 93 per cent of young Canadians, 90 per cent of women, 92 per cent of those with a post-secondary degree, and the vast majority Canadians of all incomes, from coast to coast.
Just 10 per cent of Canadians say they will not celebrate the holiday season, according to the poll.
By contrast, Canadians are relatively lukewarm on ringing in the New Year. About 65 per cent of respondents said they plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve, with 41 per cent of them planning to be at home with friends and 9 per cent planning to go out to a bar or restaurant.
The poll also found slightly more than half of Canadians plan to spend pretty much the same amount of money this holiday season as they did last year. 32 per cent of respondents say they’ll spend less than last year, while only 11 per cent plan to spend more, the poll found.
About a third of those saying they’ll spend less this year cite financial reasons, while 26 per cent say the holiday season isn’t just about spending more.
Gilbert Ngabo is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @dugilbo