Photo by Oleg Zaicev from Pexels


A nationwide study found that 60 percent of house-proud Britons said their home gets messier at Christmas than any other time of year, yet a quarter of us admit we actually enjoy the mess, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The research was conducted by household towel brand, Plenty, to celebrate the launch of its #MerryXmess campaign, and also revealed that more than four in five (82 percent) of Brits said that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the mess, and an overwhelming 77 percent admitted that clearing up after people they love is all part of the Yuletide experience.

Whilst ten percent of us argue about who does the cleaning during the festive season, three in ten say there’s nothing wrong with a bit of mess, with 15 percent admit they just can’t get cross about messy loved ones at Christmas.

The study also found that the average Brit will spend FIVE hours cleaning up over the three key days of the holiday (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day). The most irritating Christmas messes, according to Brits, were piles of washing up (49 percent), wrapping paper strewn around (43 percent) and glitter from cards and kids’ toys getting EVERYWHERE (34 percent).

Red wine spills (15 percent), chocolate fingerprints on walls (14 percent) and mud being brought in from walks (11 percent) also made the list. As did overflowing bins (30 percent), food getting trodden into the carpet (10 percent) and gravy spills (12 percent).

At the end of the day, however, 75 percent of us believe that our best Christmas memories involve some element of Christmas mess, and 31 percent believe that if the messiness makes their loved ones happy – then they’re absolutely fine with it. In fact, 18 percent go even further and say that mess means fun in their household!

Meanwhile 20 percent admit that although Christmas is going to be different this year, they’ll be making a mess and not worrying about it until the big day is done.

Despite 1 in 5 saying Christmas is an emotionally charged day in their house, and 47 per cent feeling apprehensive about the X-mess, the top reasons we’re still looking forward to Christmas include: Spending time with family (even if it’s over a screen this year) (42%); eating festive food (40%); decorating the house (49%); having a much-needed break (28%) and making a mess without worrying about it until the day is done (20%).

The study also found that half of us in the past have also made a mess at someone else’s house at Christmas, with one in eight spilling gravy on their host’s posh tablecloth, 11 percent confessing knocking over a glass of red wine and seven percent having got grease stains on the carpet. What’s more, 60 percent of those haven’t owned up after causing a mess, with 18 percent moving a rug to cover the stain – and one in 10 having blamed it on the host’s dog.

The study also revealed the main tactics house proud Brits will be deploying to combat Christ-mess this year. Nearly half (48 percent) of us will carry a bin bag around all day and insist that wrapping paper goes straight in as soon as presents are opened.

While three in 10 (31 percent) will be using a plastic tree to avoid needle drop, 21 percent will make any guests take off their shoes before entering the house, and 11 percent will ask everyone to help with a big tidy-up at the end of the day.

Regionally, Liverpool is the tidiest Christmas town in the UK spending on average seven hours cleaning up over the three days of Christmas, compared to the messier people of Edinburgh where they will only put in three hours.




  1. Mountains of washing up            49%
  2. Wrapping paper strewn around  43%
  3. Glitter from cards and decorations 34%
  4. Overflowing bins            30%
  5. Crumbs on the floor      27%
  6. Empty wine and beer bottles      27%
  7. Half-eaten snacks being left around the house    26%
  8. Chocolate wrappers down the back of the sofa   18%
  9. Crisps on the carpet/rug            17%
  10. Spills on the table/floor from Christmas Dinner  16%
  11. Xmas decorations taking the paint off the wall   15%
  12. Red wine spills  15%
  13. Chocolate fingerprints on the wall         14%
  14. Having to clean up needles from the tree           13%
  15. Gravy spills        12%
  16. Mud from walks being brought in            11%
  17. Spilling food/drink on your best clothes  10%
  18. Food getting trodden into the carpet      10%
  19. Having to deep clean the fridge/oven after the big day  9%
  20. The pet/s chewing a cardboard box       8%
  21. Small plastic toys under the sofa            8%
  22. Cleaning up after children/babies (messy high chairs, etc.)         8%
  23. Mess to clear up after kids make DIY Christmas decorations         5%
  24. Marks on the wall from bringing the Christmas tree in     4%
  25. Baby vomit 2%


The brand is encouraging the nation to champion love in all its messy forms by sharing their hilarious, relatable messy moments using #MerryXmess on Instagram. The reality of Christmas is that it will always be messy, but there’s no place we’d rather be.


To find out more information about Plenty’s #MerryXmess campaign head to: www.plenty.com or @plenty_UK