Prefer Christmas with 2 or 4 extra guests, not with the whole family

If possible, we ask as many as four extra guests for Christmas. Even if a smaller relaxation gives more mental peace.

Four extra guests, in addition to the one hug contact that is already allowed. That emerges as the most popular Christmas scenario in the new Motivation Barometer of Ghent University. In it, 5,690 respondents were presented with four scenarios for Christmas: maintaining the current situation with only one cuddly toy contact, two extra invitees, four extra invitees or carte blanche. Almost 9 out of 10 find the latter option too lax. The general motivation to follow the measures rises to almost 65 percent.

Although the expansion with four people received the most votes, the scenario with two additional guests leads to the greatest psychological gain, motivation psychologist Maarten Vansteenkiste concludes. In addition, people are less concerned that it could lead to an infection of themselves or be the trigger for a new so-called ‘Christmas wave’.

This week, the Consultation Committee is discussing how much relaxation, if any, there is possible before the Christmas period. The report recommends sufficiently emphasizing the added value of the measures. Young people are best approached ‘directly and empathically’ because the limitation of autonomy feels greater in them.

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