13/12/2011 04:43 GMT

Children Prefer Family Time To Presents At Christmas

Children prefer a traditional Christmas and would rather spend time with their family than receive presents, according to a new study.

Researchers found that 40% of children would rather Santa brought them time with their parents and immediate family, instead of being given their annual treat of stocking fillers.

A quarter (26%) of children are also hoping that they will get festive visits from family members that they rarely see during the year.

However, according to research by holiday company Butlins, 15% of them worry that this will lead to arguments during family gatherings.

Board games and quizzes are popular among children, with one in five (20%) saying they would be happier if their families played traditional games. Only 12% of children said that watching the television on Christmas Day would make them happy.

Children are also worried about spending time with their parents throughout the year, as half (51%) believe their mother and father work hard and do not get to spend time with their children as often as they would wish.

And more than one in four children (25%) admitted to worrying how their family would afford the expense of Christmas.

Mark Hunter, of Butlins, said: "Seeing mum and dad work hard throughout the year, and not being able to spend as much time with them as they'd like, is prompting kids to think about the bigger picture. Of course they are looking forward to Santa's arrival, but they are also hoping for quality family time - the chance to reconnect and enjoy each other's company."

According to the research, children also love Brussels sprouts. A third (33%) say that Christmas dinner with all the trimmings makes them happy.