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British Columbians are more likely to re-gift or exchange presents than Albertans—Albertans far more likely to believe the story of baby Jesus.

Vancouver, BC – Residents of British Columbia and Alberta regard time with friends and family as the most positive aspect of the holiday season, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of representative provincial samples found that the main activity that British Columbians and Albertans partake in during the Christmas celebration is having a special dinner with family or friends (87% in BC, 85% in AB), followed by buying gifts for friends and family (84% in BC, 83% in AB), having a Christmas tree at home (68% in BC, 70% in AB), doing something to help those less fortunate (60% in BC, 57% in AB) and sending Christmas or holiday cards (59% in BC, 57% in AB).


When asked about the best aspects of the holiday season, the top answer is being together with family and friends (83% in BC, 81% in AB), while smaller proportions of respondents look forward to relaxing (44% in BC, 45% in AB), enjoying how much fun children have (31% in BC, 38% in AB) and eating special food (30% in BC, 35% in AB).


In British Columbia, 41% of residents say they expect to receive gifts they do not like during the holiday season, with 21% of residents saying they plan to either exchange gifts they do not like or re-gift them to other people.

Albertans are decidedly less likely to say they will receive gifts they do not like (32%) and to re-gift (15%) or exchange (12%).



There are some striking differences in the two provinces when it comes to the perception of Christmas as a religious celebration. Just 34% of residents in Alberta and 26% of British Columbians plan to attend a religious service as part of their holiday celebrations.

In British Columbia, three-in-five residents (61%) say the religious part of Christmas is “not much” or “not at all” a part of their celebration. In Alberta, a majority of residents (52%) say religion is a “significant” or “moderate” part of their celebration.

While 62% of Albertans say they believe the Christmas story of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus (34% completely, 28% somewhat), the proportion drops to 47% in British Columbia (21% completely and 26% somewhat).


About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 4 to December 6, 2014, among 805 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members, and an online study conducted from November 28 to December 1, 2014, among 612 Albertans who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and +/- 3.9 percentage points for Alberta, nineteen times out of twenty. Click to view the detailed data tabulations for British Columbia and Alberta.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West


Photograph: ADTeasdale