Be good - or Santa may not call...

Father Christmas. Image courtesy of Pixabay

Father Christmas. Image courtesy of Pixabay

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Parents are using Santa and Christmas presents as a way of encouraging better behaviour in their children, according to new research.

A survey of 1,156 UK parents found 63% of Nottingham parents will remind their children that Father Christmas is watching when they are being naughty as a way of discouraging naughtiness.

The county’s parents reported that the possibility of being on Santa’s naughty list was the Christmas folk tale that is most effective in discouraging bad behaviour in children, while the possibility of waking up to no presents or unwrapping coal on Christmas Day came in second and third place, respectively.

The data revealed the extent of Santa’s influence on Nottingham kids - 22% claim their children behave better in the run up to Christmas because of Santa while 13% admit their little ones are more concerned about upsetting the big man than anyone else in their lives.

And while the 21st century brings modern festive traditions such as emailing or texting Santa, the research found that it’s traditional Christmas behaviours that are still the most popular for families.

The data which came to light in a survey carried out by One4all, the Post Office gift card, shows that 82% of Nottingham children leave mince pies out on Christmas Eve for Mr Claus to enjoy, 61% leave snacks for his reindeer and 61% visit Santa at his grotto.

Aoife Davey, Group Marketing Manager at One4all Gift Cards said: “This poll revealed some truly touching data around how much impact Santa and Christmas presents can have on the children of Nottingham.

“Santa is adored, and it’s evident from the data he has significant influence over children but what is clear to see is just how much children look forward to the magic of Christmas day, and the presents that come with it.”

Despite children having such modern methods of communication at their fingertips, just 3% of Nottingham parents say their children email or text Mr Claus.

Aoife added: “It’s heartwarming to see that families in Britain are still abiding by the Christmas traditions of the past, despite the fact we’re in a very modern, digital age.

“The night before Christmas is one of the most special in the year, and it’s great to know parents are still doing everything they can to make it magical for their children and that includes the traditional rituals that are still alive and well.”

The One4all Gift Card is available to buy from Post Offices nationwide and online at www.one4allgiftcard.co.uk, and can be spent in more than 50,000 outlets across the UK.