11 million Brits to play host to friends this Christmas

6 Nov, 2023

Over 11 million Brits (22%) will play host to friends this Christmas, new research from American Express has found.

The UK’s younger generation are those most likely to host friends, with 27% of 18-34 year olds sharing the festivities with friends compared with 22% of 35-54 year olds and 19% of those over 55.

Immediate family are the group most likely to be hosted however, with 67% of Brits inviting their closest family members to share in the festivities.

The essentials of hosting this festive season

For Brits hosting or being hosted over the festive season, food and drink ranked as the most important factor in having an enjoyable time. Over half of UK adults (52%) highlighted the quality of food and drink as their top priority for festive gatherings.

Keeping friends and family entertained is also seen as important, with 28% wanting to play games or take part in a Christmas quiz, 27% wanting to get some fresh air with a walk and 25% prioritising watching Christmas specials on TV.

Most important factors of Christmas when hosting/being hosted

% of UK adults

Quality of food & drink – 52%

A wide variety of food & drinks – 40%

Christmas games or quizzes – 28%

A walk with family & friends – 27%

Watching Christmas television specials – 25%

A good music playlist – 22%

Christmas jumpers – 13%

Spending for the big day

From decorations, to table settings and festive gifts, there are a multitude of elements that Brits will be spending on to create the perfect hosting environment.

With food and drink crucial to guests’ enjoyment, 21% of Brits say they will buy new table dressings such as flowers, tablecloths and Christmas crackers for their friends and family.

18% of those hosting or entertaining over the holidays will be buying entertainment for their guests, such as board games or films. A further 10% will be embracing hosting; heading to the shops to buy new homeware for those coming to visit, including sofa beds, bedding and toiletries.

Brits are also finding ways to be savvy with their spending, with 42% using purchases they made last year at this year’s Christmas. While gift giving is synonymous with the festive period, over 6 million UK adults (11%) will regift a present that they received as a gift last Christmas.

Harry Mole, Vice Present at American Express, said: “Our research has shown the important role that friends, as well as family, play in celebrating the festive period. As Brits gear up for these celebrations, they are set to embrace their resourceful side, re-gifting and repurposing last years’ treasures. But when it comes to food and drink – a key factor that guests expect from a host – our data found there is little room for compromise.

“As American Express® Cardmembers get ready for the holiday season and stock up on goodies, they can make their spending go further, earning valuable points, rewards and cashback that should help to bring the festive spirit this season.”