One fourth of those over 55 'less happy' at Christmas

Majority will be enjoying Christmas lunch at home with family and friends

James Debono
20 December 2015, 8:00am
MaltaToday survey • Christmas 2015
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Bereavement and loneliness are the greatest causes of festive unhappiness.

Christmas should be the happiest time of year, but judging by the results of a MaltaToday survey this is not the case for thousands of people.

18.5% feel sadder during the Christmas period, up from 15% who expressed the same sentiment a year ago. Moreover the survey shows 25% of over-55 year olds feeling less happy during the festivities, compared to just 12% of under-34 year olds. 

The survey shows that the major causes of unhappiness are memories of lost loved ones and bereavement, loneliness, family break ups and poverty.    

On the other hand 59% (down from 63% last year) feel happier during the festive period. The major contributor to happiness is spending time with family, followed by the religious aspect and the festive atmosphere; many referring to decorations, carols and other Christmas traditions. 7% referred to the intangible “joy of Christmas” which makes them happier.

Only 2% gave parties and entertainment as the reason why they feel happier.

The survey also shows that not everyone will be celebrating Christmas with one’s family. 5% will be alone at lunchtime in Christmas. 26% of those who will be alone on Christmas day say that Christmas makes them happier while 40% of this category feels less happy.

The majority (78%) will be having lunch with their family either at home or as guests in a relative’s home. 4% will be guests at friends while 9.1% will be celebrating with their families or friends in a restaurant (the same as last year).

James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...