Applegreen survey reveals our favourite festive rituals as nation gears up for the Christmas commute


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Applegreen, Ireland’s leading motorway forecourt retailer, has surveyed more than 1000 road users to find the most common Christmas rituals and habits for Irish motorists over the festive season.

Over half (52%) of survey respondents indicated that people are what makes Christmas special, with the majority eager to reunite with loved ones this year. Some will travel across the country to see friends and family while for others, only a short trip is needed for these much longed-for festive gatherings.

Christmas or not, disagreements about what to listen to in the car are not uncommon! Unsurprisingly, the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York remains the nation’s most popular festive anthem, with 41% of survey respondents saying it’s their favourite. Chris Rea’s iconic Driving Home for Christmas takes the runner-up spot, with 28% saying it best captures that festive spirit.

When it comes to pit stops, a traditional cup of tea is the beverage that most (34%) motorists want to have in their cup-holder at Christmas, with 32% preferring a warming mug of hot chocolate to keep out the cold.

And once they arrive home, 29% of survey respondents say the thing they most look forward to is Mammy’s home cooking! 13% have more of a sweet tooth, meanwhile, preferring to indulge on the sweet tins and selection boxes rather than the traditional turkey and dreaded Brussels sprouts.

It’s a touchy subject at this time of year, but when it comes to being prepared for Christmas, almost two-thirds of respondents (58%) say they like to get their festive shopping done nice and early. The remaining 42% admit that they are last-minute gift ‘scramblers’, rushing around in a panic trying to get everyone on the list ticked off buying chocolates, charity Christmas cards and fuel card vouchers.

“We had lots of fun with this survey but it’s also clear that there’s a huge amount of pent-up desire for Christmas this year,” says Applegreen’s Head of Marketing, Kate O’Shaughnessy. “People cannot wait to travel home and be with friends and family at this special time of year.

“The drive home for Christmas is a magical part of the whole celebration but it’s very important to stay safe, especially if the weather is poor,” she adds. “Whether it’s for refilling or charging your car, picking up a few supplies or just stopping to stretch the legs and grab a cuppa, Applegreen will be open throughout Christmas to provide our customers with whatever they need.”

Applegreen doubling up on charity donations

On doubling its Charitable Fund donations throughout December, Applegreen’s Kate O’Shaughnessy says that all good causes need a little extra help at this time of year.

“These are still tough times, and many people are struggling in different ways in the run-up to Christmas,” she says. “That’s why we are doubling our donations to the Charitable Fund for the month of December, with 2 cent from every in-store purchase going directly towards our four charity partners. We hope it helps.”

Applegreen will remain open throughout the festive season, offering quality Irish produce, Christmas essentials and many other services and facilities on the road.