Parents 'would avoid Christmas if they could' this year due to financial and mental health pressures

Some parents are ‘wishing away the pressure of the festive season’, finds Action for Children

Olivia Petter
Monday 30 November 2020 08:03 GMT
(Getty Images)

Some parents have said they would rather skip Christmas this year due to financial and mental health pressures they’ve experienced as a result of the pandemic, new research has found.

According to a new survey of 2,000 parents and children conducted by Action for Children, one in six (17 per cent) parents would actually "cancel" the holiday this year if they could.

Meanwhile, more than half (57 per cent) of children expressed concerns that their parents will be worried about making it a happy time for their family.

Additionally, nearly half (46 pet cent) of surveyed parents on Universal Credit reported experiencing their first-ever Christmas on the benefit, while 41 per cent of them said they wanted to "cancel" Christmas altogether.

As for children, nearly half (49 per cent) of those surveyed reported feeling anxiety at thi time, while 33 per cent felt lonely.

One in five parents said their children were experiencing either mood swings or panic attacks.

Carol Iddon, deputy chief executive of Action for Children, commented: "Christmas should be the most exciting time of the year but instead children and young people are desperately struggling to get through this crisis, with parents wishing away the pressure of the festive season.

"Every day our frontline workers are helping parents keep their heads above water as some face the prospect of eviction or selling belongings to cover the cost of Christmas, while vulnerable children who should be enjoying a safe and happy childhood are suffering nightmares, panic attacks, or being scared of issues like death and illness."

You can read more about  Action for Children's Secret Santa campaign, which supports vulnerable children, by visiting

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