The TRUE cost of Christmas

The TRUE cost of Christmas

The TRUE cost of Christmas

Christmas is by far one of the busiest and most celebrated holidays of the year. It’s a time when we come together with friends and family, eat lots of food and often spend too much money. In a time where this will certainly be adding extra pressure to families across the UK, we ask what toll this has on not only our finances, but our mental health as well?

We asked the nation their thoughts and feelings about the upcoming holiday season and whether they’ll be making any changes due to the current cost of living crisis. 

Will Christmas lights spend the season in the attic?

It looks like the rising energy costs are set to kill the traditional switching on of Christmas lights this year, with over half (54%) of us saying we will avoid putting up lights this year due to the increased running costs. This is a great shame considering the majority (86%) of people say that Christmas lights bring them joy over the festive period. 

Council funded Christmas lights are also expected to take a hit as reported across the country, which is bad news for just under two-thirds (59%) of Brits who say they will be disappointed if council funded lights are turned off due to the cost of living crisis.

What do people think about Christmas this year?

The nation is feeling pretty apprehensive when it comes to Christmas this year with 53% of people saying they are worried that the big day will be a disappointment and two-fifths (39%) saying the prospect of Christmas in the current financial climate is making them feel depressed. 

These feelings are exacerbated even more by the constant reminders from Christmas related TV commercials. Although these ads are created to spark joy and create a buzz around Christmas it seems that they are actually doing the opposite for many people this year with more than half (54%) of those surveyed saying these adverts put extra pressure on them to create ‘the perfect day’ for their family. 

How much will Brits be spending this Christmas?

The festive season leaves over four in 10 (45%) of us feeling that we need to provide a lavish Christmas for loved ones. However, with a cost of living crisis coming after years of instability with Brexit and then the pandemic, it won’t be easy. 

Our results revealed that over three quarters (75%) of Brits are looking to reduce how much they spend this year, due to the cost of living crisis. The results showed that they will be spending around 25% less this year compared to last, on everything from gifts and clothes to food and drink. We also found nearly a third of Brits are looking to cut costs on Christmas lights, although many did say they feel guilty about having to do so.

The top seven aspects of Christmas Brits will be cutting costs on:

  1. Gifts (59%)
  2. Food and drink (46%)
  3. Decorations (36%)
  4. Attending parties (31%)
  5. Socialising with friends and family (30%)
  6. Clothing (29%)
  7. Christmas lights (29%)

How Brits are saving money during the festive season?

When it comes to saving money, Brits have looked at their monthly expenses to see what they can cut in preparation for the festive season. Topping the list is going out, which includes meals, dates and nights out, while reducing takeaway spending came in at a close second. 

The top 10 ways Brits are cutting back to save money this Christmas due to the cost of living crisis:

  1. Cut down on going out (50%)
  2. Reduced or stopped buying takeaways (46%)
  3. Walked instead of driving (32%)
  4. Purchased bulk and frozen food (28%)
  5. Stopped getting beauty treatments (26%)
  6. Avoided dental or medical treatments where you have to pay for treatment (26%)
  7. Switched bulbs to energy-efficient ones (24%)
  8. Cancelled streaming subscriptions (23%)
  9. Purchased an air fryer to avoid using the oven (21%)
  10. Checked utility providers to get the best deal (17%)


This survey data was collated on our behalf by integrated research agent 3Gem, from a nationally representative group of 1,000 UK adults.