Brits are gearing up for a tech Christmas with almost half planning to open presents over a video call – and 36 per cent having a ‘virtual traditional dinner with all the trimmings’.

A study of 2,000 adults found a quarter will also host virtual festive singalongs with family (24 per cent).

Three quarters will be having a smaller gathering than usual under one roof this Christmas.

But 53 per cent plan to make up for that by ensuring the celebrations are more special than ever.

The research was commissioned by Barclays Digital Eagles, which has brought together care home residents in a ‘virtual video Christmas card’ for family and friends.

The poll also revealed that two thirds intend to put a greater emphasis on festive family traditions this year, with a quarter planning to play their favourite festive carols while on video calls with family.

A third will gather around their devices to share in the annual re-telling of family stories, while 27 per cent will pick up their phones first thing to enjoy a virtual toast with a Bucks Fizz on Christmas morning.

It also found that half aim to use tech specifically to celebrate with their elderly relatives.

And the traditions being kept going using technology this year have been a staple of the British family Christmas for an average of four generations.

Liam Mitchell, from Barclays Digital Eagles, said: “Our virtual singalong Christmas card showcases how digital skills and music can bring families together during a festive season that’s set to be different from last year.

“We’re really proud of the work we’ve been doing with care homes up and down the country – enabling residents to stay connected with their families, via our Digital Eagles who have upskilled them to use virtual conferencing platforms and social messaging tools.

“We hope the choir will help to spread some festive cheer for the residents and families alike.”

Earlier this year, the Barclays Digital Eagles committed to working with 500 care homes across the UK to grow their staff and residents’ digital confidence in 2020 – upskilling more than 4,000 so far on staying connected with family and friends.

The residents will be putting the skills they’ve learned via the Digital Eagles programme to good use and will be sending their virtual video Christmas cards to their loved ones to spread festive cheer.

Carrie Grant MBE, celebrity vocal coach and choirmaster for the Barclays Digital Eagles Care Home Choir said: “It has been so great to be a part of this initiative.

“Carols at Christmas are a tradition that many families enjoy – so it’s been wonderful bringing some festive fun to care home residents, which they in turn can share with their families.

“In addition to their singing skills and enthusiasm, I was very impressed with the residents’ technical abilities – it’s a set of skills that will be so valuable to them throughout the festive period and beyond.”

TOP 10 WAYS FAMILIES PLAN TO MAKE THEIR VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS MAGICAL:
1.            Opening presents on Christmas Day
2.            Enjoy Christmas lunch/dinner
3.            Re-telling family favourite stories
4.            Re-telling family jokes
5.            A bucks fizz toast on Christmas morning
6.            Playing party games/charades
7.            Showing off Christmas jumpers
8.            Sharing festive food/drink recipes
9.            A festive singalong with family and friends
10.          Watching the Queen’s speech

ENDS

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