What do children want for Christmas?

Christmas will be very different this year. Instead of cramming in the annual pleasantries with distant relatives, we’ll likely be staying home, sharing the sprouts with the same people we’ve spent most of 2020 trying not to annoy.

For some, it might not be too bad. Less time in festive traffic jams, less pressure to buy presents for people we don’t talk to, more time on a sofa eating biscuits. But, how do young people feel about it all?  


The results of Christmas kids' poll

family putting Christmas decorations on a tree

All they want for Christmas is you

We asked children aged 10 to 16 how they feel about Christmas this year. Top of their wish list was for everyone to be healthy and happy. Close second was a family Christmas dinner. 

Whilst many of us are drawing out Venn diagrams of relatives, bubbles and tiers, trying to work out who, if anyone, we’re allowed to see. Children just want everyone to be safe. And many accept that they may not be able to see their loved ones in person. 

Nearly two thirds said visiting family was what they would miss most this Christmas.

facts from kids' Christmas poll

Over half

worried about their elderly relatives catching coronavirus


worried they wouldn't be able to spend Christmas with their loved ones

Presence, not presents

For a lot of children across the country, it's not about the presents this year. They just want people to be healthy and happy, and back together when it's safe. Some said they wanted to give food and clothes to those who couldn't afford it. 

Young people will have seen their parents struggle during the pandemic. Jobs were lost, incomes cut. At the same time, families have to spend more on food and bills because everyone's at home all the time. It's been a tough year and it hasn't gone unnoticed by children.

More than a quarter of children believed this Christmas will be harder financially than ever before.

christmas children's poll conclusion

girl playing with ballon is Christmassy room

Looking forward

Despite everything, the young people we talked to are staying hopeful for 2021. They're looking forward to playing football, going on holiday, 'seeing mum happy again'. One young person has got their hopes set on a Mars landing. 

This Christmas, their wish is for everyone to be healthy and happy. Next year will be better. Put the crackers somewhere safe until then. 

everything's going to be alright

young woman christmas jumper

Help us keep hope alive

We are stepping up our fight for young people's happiness, at a time when it's under threat like never before. We restore, protect and strengthen young people's hope through counselling, one-to-one support and tireless campaigning. 

This Christmas you can help by writing words of support. Your message may provide a glimmer of hope for young people facing the toughest challenges.