Press Release | 19 Dec 2017

Feast your mince pies on this: in the UK we will share 100 million photos of our Christmas dinners on the big day

The 2017 festive season is set to see the UK sharing yuletide experiences online in droves, research from Vodafone UK has found.

  • We’ll be talking turkey, and describing the rest of our Christmas dinner, in massive numbers online
  • We’ll exchange festive messages via our phones with an average of 25 people, compared to just four in 2007, with 8.24am being the most popular time to send our first “Merry Christmas” text or WhatsApp message
  • Vodafone UK compiles Connected Christmas Guide to help us balance our love of sharing and connecting online with family harmony and tradition on the big day

In the UK we will share 100 million photos of our Christmas dinners on Facebook, WhatsApp and other messaging services and social media platforms this year, new research from Vodafone UK has found.

The 2017 festive season is set to see the UK sharing yuletide experiences online in droves – across Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and other social media platforms, plus text and other messaging services.  And the number of turkey, sprouts and mince pie pics sent digitally over the 24-hour period will reach 100 million.

The research also reveals that for most of the UK, sharing holiday cheer starts at 8.24am on Christmas morning – the time when we’re most likely to send our first festive digital greeting of the day.

Other Connected Christmas findings include:

  • The most popular times for checking our smartphones for messages and social media updates are during a Christmas day walk (27%); the Queen’s speech (23%); and while playing games with the family (17%)
  • In between opening presents, pulling crackers and asking for one more helping of Christmas pudding, one in five 24-34-year-olds (20%) will do online banking on the big day, while around one in ten (9%) will indulge in online dating
  • We’ll likely receive up to four mystery “Merry Christmas” text message greetings on 25 December, without recognising the number or whom they’re from

A traditional part of the Great British Christmas experience has been watching a blockbuster film on TV. Vodafone UK research also reveals that mobiles are increasingly being used for that too, with 13% planning to use their smartphone on 25 December to watch a movie.

And one in five expect their parents to embarrass them on Facebook or other social media platforms on Christmas day. This is most likely to include “posting an embarrassing photo of me” (named by 7%), posting an embarrassing photo of themselves “which they’ve tagged me in” (6%), “posting an embarrassing photo or video of me playing games” (6%), “messaging my friends” (6%) and “writing something embarrassing on my timeline” (5%).

Vodafone UK’s 2017 Connected Christmas Guide

Based on the findings of the research, Vodafone UK has enlisted the help of etiquette expert Judi James to put together the 2017 Connected Christmas Guide:

Christmas morning: how early is TOO early?

One in 10 feel it’s acceptable to start sending yuletide cheer via text, WhatsApp or other messaging service before 7am. But try to hold off until at least 8am on the big day.

Take notice of who is around you

It’s often only at Christmas that we find ourselves in close proximity to extended family for long periods. Always remember where you are and who you’re with, and don’t let other eyes mistakenly see things you’d never say in front of granny.

Phones on the table?

Snapping Christmas dinner on your phone is more than encouraged. However, calls and texts should wait until after dinner is finished. The only exception is for long distance calls!

Embrace embarrassing parents

It’s important to remember that Christmas is a time for being with loved ones. So while it is a good idea to remind mum and dad that you don’t want them to show you up in front of your friends online, if they do, take it in the spirit of the season. Something embarrassing that your parents do now is a fond memory for Christmases yet to come.

Mystery festive messages

If you get a yuletide message from an unknown number, ask friends and relatives if they have the number saved in their phone to avoid hurting the sender’s feelings.

Judi James, human behavioural expert, said: “Christmas is a time for sharing with friends and family – that’s always been the case, and mobile technology allows us to share the festive moment now more than ever before.

“With family and friends often far away over Christmas or living abroad, the upsurge in technology helps us to feel reassured as we can easily contact them on the big day, increasing the feeling of euphoria and happiness amongst loved ones.

“Of course we need to use technology in our everyday lives which is why a guide on how to use mobile technology on the day is a great idea.”

Emma Reynolds, Director of Communications, Vodafone UK, added: “Technology is playing an increasingly important role in helping us connect with loved ones over Christmas.  This year we’ll be sending messages to our friends and family and posting pictures of our Christmas experience on social in huge numbers. And with our Vodafone Passes, customers don’t need to worry about how much data they are using connecting on social or chat apps, or enjoying their favourite films and music on the big day.”


Notes to Editors:

About the Research:

The research was carried out by Mortar London, which conducted an online survey among 2,000 respondents across the UK. The sample of adults was randomly selected from a survey panel and weighted to be representative of the UK population for age, gender and region. The margin of error, which measures sampling variability at the country level, was +/- 2.2% at 95% confidence limit. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The research was conducted 8-11 December 2017.

More on Vodafone Passes

 Passes are a new way to enjoy more of the video, music, social and chat apps you love, without using up your monthly data allowance. Passes zero rate the data costs associated with the apps in the ‘category’ of the Pass chosen – offering endless data on a wide range of apps.

Video Pass £7/month (intro offer, normally £9/month) – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, DisneyLife, Vevo, My5, YouTube, UKTV Play and TVPlayer, which includes channels like HISTORY, Lifetime, MTV & Comedy Central

Music Pass £5/month – Spotify, Deezer, Napster, SoundCloud, TIDAL, Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music

Social Pass £5/month – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

Chat Pass £3/month – Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Viber

Combo Pass £15/month – All the passes in one

*Vodafone Passes are available to Pay monthly consumers on Red or Mobile Broadband plans purchased on or after 12/04/17. Passes include selected apps or websites in the UK and in our Roam-free destinations. There is a 5GB limit/month per pass in Roam-free destinations. Entertainment services mar require additional paid subscriptions.  For a full list of terms please see

** Data usage not included within Vodafone Passes and beyond a customer’s monthly inclusive allowance is charged at our out of bundle rates. Access to Vodafone Passes will remain available. Customers receive notifications prior to the end of their inclusive data allowance and once the allowance has been exhausted.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587