By Sarah Kocher // SWNS
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Shopping for presents, wrapping them and getting a Christmas tree are among American parents' favorite Christmas-time memories from when they were kids, according to a new survey.
Other moments of nostalgia for parents include those beloved Christmas cookies – with 41 percent of those surveyed agreeing that both baking and eating cookies were their favorite holiday activities.
The survey of 2,000 American parents of children 17 and under, who celebrate Christmas, examined the new memories and traditions they look forward to making with their little ones this year.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board and the “It’s Christmas, Keep it Real Campaign,” the survey found nine in 10 parents surveyed said they feel it’s important to be able to share their past holiday traditions with their children – and create new family memories in the process.
Over half of parents surveyed reported these sentiments were “very important” to them.
When it comes to spreading Christmas cheer within the home, over half of parents enjoy wrapping presents and, specifically, helping their little ones wrap presents, at 55 percent and 53 percent respectively.
Forty-three percent of parents also take pride in teasing their children by hiding presents and helping their children look for them.
Another favorite activity for parents to do with their families is getting a Christmas tree, at 48 percent.
In fact, 62 percent of parents surveyed who get a fresh tree each year have a specific family tradition just for picking out the tree.
Respondents also shared their fondest memories when they pick out their fresh tree.
From slipping in the snow, to waiting all night staking out the perfect tree – it comes as no surprise that a lot of these memories included laughter.
When it comes to picking out a tree, 36 percent of respondents go traditional and visit a Christmas tree farm, while 23 percent pick out their fresh trees from a seasonal lot around their community.
Perhaps surprisingly, a quarter of parents have their children make the final say on the tree; however, once the tree comes home, 43 percent of parents take on the job of watering and caring for the tree.
Those who prefer fresh Christmas trees as opposed to artificial trees were nearly twice as likely to have a family tradition when it comes to decorating the tree – at 60 percent versus 33 percent.
Traditions included listening to Christmas music while drinking hot cocoa or ordering pizza while decorating the tree.
Many parents cherish their children’s homemade ornaments and created traditions solely around these. One respondent even said their family gathers and shares stories about each ornament and its significance.
“Nothing says ‘the holidays’ like picking out a real Christmas tree with your loved ones, and this survey truly does confirm that real Christmas tree users are also the tradition keepers,” said Marsha Gray, Executive Director, Christmas Tree Promotion Board. “From the unmistakable fresh Christmas tree scent to the fun of the search, the experience of choosing a real tree is a tradition to look forward to every holiday season and remember for years to come.”
Once the holidays are over and new memories are made, it then comes time to remove the tree that was so central to these memories.
Perhaps surprisingly, only 13 percent of respondents said they throw away their fresh Christmas trees in their regular curb-side trash.
A whopping 72 percent of respondents recycle their real Christmas trees in some way.
Forty-seven percent take their tree to a local recycling program and nearly a quarter opt to donate their tree to a local zoo or animal sanctuary.
“Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and can be recycled or reused for mulch,” explains Gray. “Plus, for every real Christmas tree harvested, the grower plants at least one new tree.”
TOP 10 HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES PARENTS ENJOY WITH THEIR CHILDREN
1. Wrapping presents 55%
2. Helping their children wrap their presents 53%
3. Shopping for presents 50%
4. Getting a Christmas tree 48%
5. Baking cookies 46%
6. Hanging stockings 46%
7. Watching Christmas movies 44%
8. Decorating the Christmas tree 44%
9. Eating cookies 44%
10. Bringing cookies to neighbors 44%
TOP 10 HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES PARENTS ENJOYED WHEN THEY WERE CHILDREN
1. Wrapping presents 42%
2. Getting a Christmas tree 42%
3. Shopping for presents 42%
4. Eating cookies 41%
5. Baking cookies 41%
6. Bring cookies to neighbors 40%
7. Participating in a cookie swap 38%
8. Hanging stockings 36%
9. Taking photos for Christmas cards 35%
10. Christmas caroling 35%