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Brits say ‘bah humbug’ to lighting up their homes this christmas

28 November 2008

Brits are planning to turn their backs on extravagant Christmas decorations to light up their homes this year.

New research from Yorkshire Bank has revealed that just 23% of Brits plan to illuminate their neighbourhood by decorating outside their homes with Santas, snowmen, Rudolphs and reindeers in the run-up to Christmas.

Yorkshire Bank’s quarterly Homebuyers Report also revealed that 19% of Brits who have decorated their homes in previous years are not planning on doing so this festive season.

Though rising utility bills and greater cost consciousness may well see fewer cul-de-sacs lit up like Christmas trees this year, the research found that 30% of those in the South East and 29% in the West Midlands are still planning a dazzling display.  

However, the capital may be in darkness this year with Londoners the least likely to light up their homes with a meagre 12% planning on using outside lights.

Regional breakdown of those planning to decorate the outside of their home:

  • London  12%
  • Wales  18%
  • South West  22%
  • North West  22%
  • Yorkshire and Humberside  23%
  • North East  26%
  • East Anglia  26%
  • East Midlands  26%
  • West Midlands  29%
  • South East  30%

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank’s head of retail, said: “Whether you love them or loath them everyone seems to have an opinion about outdoor Christmas lights. While some people see them as being wasteful and tacky, others enjoy the Christmas spirit and cheer they bring to a community.

 “Whatever decorations you opt for, it’s still possible to have fun this festive season whilst sticking to a budget. Christmas is a special time of year and should be about enjoying time with friends and family rather than how much money you spend.”

Yorkshire Bank’s simple tips for saving money this Christmas:

  1. Set a budget – and stick to it. Work out how much you can afford to spend and don’t exceed this amount.
  2. Remember the most expensive present is not necessarily the best. Sometimes a more thoughtful, personal gift can be more appreciated. For example, new parents may prefer the offer of babysitting rather than more perfume or aftershave.
  3. Shop about – when you have decided what you want to buy, look for the best bargain. Many shops have sales in the run-up to Christmas, so pick your purchasing timing wisely.
  4. Group together – rather than buying gifts for every one of your friends individually, why not hold a secret Santa where each person buys for just one friend.
  5. Have a family feast – ask your guests to bring a course or some goodies with them so you don’t have sole responsibility for Christmas dinner. It could simply be bringing the wine or the Christmas crackers but will help you share the expense.

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