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

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

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).