A New Survey Reveals That 60% of Americans Haven't Spent the Holiday Season with Loved Ones in Two Years

A majority of respondents say they'd get rid of their holiday traditions if it meant they can create new memories with their loved ones.

For many, the holiday season is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, which means the past few years have been difficult to navigate. Last year was marked largely by connecting in small groups or over video call sessions, but that hasn't changed our desire to spend the holidays with extended family. In fact, a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Chinet—a producer of disposable tableware products—revealed that three in four Americans are willing to get rid of all their holiday traditions if it means they can create new memories with their loved ones. However, despite respondents' desire to spend the holidays with friends and family, 62 percent said they haven't done so in nearly two years.

The survey, which polled over 2,000 Americans, examined how families spend time together during the holidays. Researchers found that 73 percent bond with their loved ones during the joyful season more than any other time of year. Additionally, four in five respondents look forward to being together with family and friends and even more (82 percent) try to make that quality time happen every year. Survey participants also revealed their favorite memories they've made when seeing their loved ones during the holiday season, which include exchanging gifts, chatting around the fireplace, and having Christmas cookies at grandma's house.

family opening christmas presents by tree
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

When it comes to entertaining, many people say they meet up for the festivities at a loved one's home, while a third reveal they're typically the designated host, having up to 14 guests at a time. The respondents that go home for the holidays, spend an average of two whole weeks with their loved ones, during that time they cook or bake together (56 percent), catch up on gossip (52 percent), and play games (48 percent). Of those that do celebrate, 34 percent believe the holidays are equally as fun as when they were children, while 75 percent say they have a greater appreciation for this time of year because of the pandemic.

In all, the survey reveals the desire many have to be with family and friends during the holiday season. About 77 percent say they're thankful they can spend time with loved ones this year, and the same percentage of respondents say that even after the pandemic ends, they plan on making an effort to meet with loved ones more often. "Whatever holiday traditions you have, this season is really about spending time with the people we care most about," says Alexis Guetzlaff, brand manager at Chinet. "After the challenges the last 18 months have thrown at us, we expect to see an even greater focus on taking time to really connect to moments that matter."

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