Christmas is a “holiday for us” to celebrate with family and friends, according to the European Commission, which says it’s a time to “celebrate and reflect on our shared history, our shared values and our shared hopes”.
The Commission’s annual Christmas survey of 500 EU states has shown a rise in the number of people celebrating Christmas on social media and online, with a fifth saying they do so every year.
The Commission says its annual Christmas Survey on Christmas celebrations will help countries tackle the issue of digital inequality, with some 16.3 million people worldwide saying they celebrate Christmas with family every year, up from 12.7 million in 2012.
But it has raised concerns about the lack of digital access for families and young people, with nearly a third saying they can’t get online to find out how to celebrate Christmas, while a third said they can but don’t because it’s too expensive.
In addition, while more than half of adults in most EU states say they celebrate their holidays with friends, many don’t use their mobile phones to do so, according the survey, which is based on online interviews with more than 500 people in each of the EU’s 28 member states.
“The Commission is particularly concerned that there are no clear rules for social media use and offline media,” the Commission said in a statement.
It said that the lack.
of clear rules is creating a “disincentive for use of social media by young people and for young people to use their phones to celebrate their holiday with family”.
The survey also showed a strong trend for people to celebrate a holiday on a holiday day other than the official Christmas holiday, which in some countries includes New Year’s Day.
A third of Europeans say they do that, up slightly from 12% last year.
But a quarter of Europeans, or 34%, say they don’t.
More than one in 10 people in all the EU states said they celebrate New Year with family, with half of those people saying they attend family events or festivals.