Totally Sleigh-ing It: New research from Afterpay unwraps Aussie’s most common Christmas rituals

November 14, 2023Australia
  • Three-quarters of Aussies follow some sort of annual Christmas tradition every year

  • More than a third of shoppers will spend the same or more than they did last Christmas1

  • One in five Aussies spend more on Christmas lunch than any other meal during the year

There’s no one way to do Christmas. From celebrating with an all-out feast in a home with every single surface decorated, to a bucket of fried chicken on the beach, new research from Afterpay reveals how Aussies plan to celebrate this Christmas.

More than a third of shoppers will still spend the same or more than they did last Christmas. One in four (26%) Aussies say they will do whatever it takes to make their celebration as festive as possible, however 67% say they will be implementing money saving tactics.

Afterpay has unearthed Aussie’s most common rituals and traditions to reveal the five Christmas archetypes:

Over The Top Owen

When it comes to Christmas, some Aussies don’t just deck the halls, they deck everything. One in four (26%) proudly claim the title of their celebrations being ‘over the top’ – going all out to make the season sparkle and shine. This means buying individual gifts for their family (31%) and friends (14%), with a quarter (25%) saying throughout the year they’re on the lookout for the perfect present they know their recipient will love. One in five (20%) Aussies say that they spend more on Christmas lunch than any other meal during the year, and one in ten (11%) say they exclusively listen to Christmas music in December. Over the Top Owens love Christmas so much that they don’t want the festivities to stop in December – over one-third (35%) leave their tree up until mid-January.

Last-Minute Larry

Christmas comes but once a year, and sometimes even that is too soon for Last-Minute Larrys. While some might be planning from July, a quarter (25%) of Aussies say they don’t start their Christmas shopping until December arrives, with one in ten (9%) leaving their gift shopping until the week of and a real risk-taking 5% leaving it until the day before. Roughly 1.9 million Aussies (9%) say that they don’t organise their Christmas tree until the week of the festivities, with one in ten (11%) still wrapping gifts and writing cards on Christmas morning.

Teri Traditionalist

Aussies are a nation of traditionalists, with three quarters (74%) following some sort of annual Christmas tradition every year. Teri Traditionalists are hard set in their ways – and no one can make them change. Whether that’s taking annual family photos (29%), eating seafood on Christmas day (28%), or wearing a traditional Christmas shirt or sweater (18%). Millennials are more likely to be Teri Traditionalists (82%), compared to Gen X (73%) and Baby Boomers (67%), particularly when it comes to the tradition of opening gifts on Christmas Eve (23% compared to 11% and 7% respectively).

Frugal Fred

For some Aussies, celebrating Christmas means sticking to a strict budget and seeking out the best festive bargains. Over a third (35%) say they’ll be repurposing their festive decorations to avoid unnecessary costs, a fifth (20%) limiting the number of parties or events they attend to save on costs, and 19% opting to not decorate the house or Christmas tree with lights to save on costs.

Over a quarter (28%) of Aussies are Christmas Tree troopers, saving money by not having bought a new tree in over 10 years, and one in twenty (4%) Aussies are truly the thriftiest festive-season bargain-seekers, going so far as to take advantage of the Boxing Day sales to buy their Christmas gifts.

Anti-Christmas Ashley

Not every Aussie gets into the Christmas spirit, some have a serious case of RGF (resting grinch face). Research reveals that, surprisingly, one in four Aussies who say they celebrate the holiday (24%) actually claim to be ‘anti-Christmas’ and would prefer not to celebrate, and 7% say they avoid celebrating with their family and friends. A proportion of scrooges do not plan on buying any presents this year, with one in six asking their family not to buy them gifts. 10% of Aussies refuse to listen to Christmas music, and 12% name Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ as their least favourite song.

Nikita Mehta, Marketing Director ANZ at Afterpay, said, “Christmas is a special time of year for many Aussies, as they come together with their loved ones to feast, gift and celebrate. For many, it can also be a very busy and stressful period.”

“While there are many tried and true Christmas traditions, however you Christmas, Afterpay can be used to help Aussies budget and manage the breadth of festive expenses by paying in four, fortnightly interest free instalments.”

Afterpay is available where you wouldn’t believe, both in-store and online, to help Aussies budget for everything in their life from fashion and health, to homewares, tech, appliances, DIY, travel and ticketing. Customers can pay off purchases in four, fortnightly instalments without incurring interest ever.

You can Afterpay almost anywhere you need to get Christmas sorted – head to the Afterpay website ( or the Afterpay app to see where Afterpay is accepted. 




All consumer findings, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.

Conducted between October 19 to 23, 2023 and comprised of a nationally representative sample of 1,004 Australians aged 18 years and older.​ The survey was carried out online. Respondents were asked to give their opinions regardless of whether they considered themselves as someone who celebrates Christmas (i.e. based on their experience over the holiday season/ any festive activities they may participate in). Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates. ​

About Afterpay 

Afterpay is transforming the way we pay by allowing anyone to buy products immediately and pay over time – enabling simple, transparent and responsible spending. We are on a mission to power an economy in which everyone wins.

Afterpay is offered by thousands of the world’s favorite retailers and used by millions of active global customers. Afterpay is currently available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, where it is known as Clearpay.  Afterpay is a wholly owned subsidiary of Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ).

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