With Christmas on the horizon, retailer Next wanted to tap into the nation’s festive spirit by finding out which cities and regions of the UK are the most festive. The high street stalwart commissioned a survey polling 2,000 UK adults that celebrate Christmas.
From time and money spent on decorations to the number of virtual Christmases, the results provide a fascinating look into how the country celebrates Christmas – and how these might differ in such unprecedented times.
- The West Midlands are the most festive region in the UK
- One in five will decorate their homes before the start of December
- 46% of people are planning to make more of an effort to celebrate Christmas this year
BIRMINGHAM, BRISTOL AND CARDIFF ARE HOME TO THE MOST FESTIVE PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY
When asked to rate their festivity on a scale of 1 to 10, the West Midlands emerges as the most festive region in the UK, with an average score of 6.12.
In fact, people in Birmingham (who scored 6.34 as an individual city) love Christmas more than those in any other part of the country, with more than 75% agreeing it’s the best time of the year.
Competing with Birmingham for the title of the Most Festive City are Bristol and Cardiff, each with a score of 6.28.
Meanwhile, Norwich, Edinburgh and Liverpool come out as the least festive cities with scores of 5.31, 5.32 and 5.37 (respectively). In fact, less than two thirds of Norwich residents consider Christmas to be a highlight of their year, with more than 1 in 5 stating it’s not something they look forward to at all.
Top five most festive cities
Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, York
Top five least festive cities
Norwich, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Glasgow, Plymouth
ONE IN FIVE OF US WILL DECK THE HALLS BEFORE DECEMBER
73% of participants consider Christmas one of the best times of the year, with 16% getting excited months before the big day. As such, one fifth admit to decorating before December has begun, with Londoners being the hastiest to dust off the décor.
Three in 10 residents of the capital will have decorated before the end of November, spending just under four and a half hours doing so – an hour longer than the national average of 3.5.
The tree is considered the most important decoration to have up (79 per cent), along with the baubles which decorate it (55 per cent) and indoor lighting. Meanwhile, cushions, throws and rugs and dinnerware are lowest on the list of priorities.
Factoring in time spent putting up decorations, the survey reveals the nation spends an average of just over 10 hours preparing for Christmas in total, with East Anglia residents spending the most time (11.2 hours) and Londoners spending the least (just under nine hours).
Meanwhile, when considering money spent on décor, food and gifts, the average cost of Christmas in the UK is £429. Regionally, Northern Ireland are the biggest spenders, spending around £618 during the festive season, while residents of the East Midlands spend the least at just under £363.
ALMOST HALF WILL MAKE MORE OF AN EFFORT TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR
Despite half of participants feeling that the pandemic has negatively affected their desire to celebrate Christmas, over 45% are planning to make more of an effort to celebrate in their homes this year.
A spokesperson for Next said: “This Christmas looks likely to be different, but it seems that one thing that won’t change is the festive spirit in many cities across the country. In fact, many are planning to go bigger and better than ever on presents and decorations this year to make sure they end a less than perfect 2020 with a brilliant Christmas.”
Just over 39% will be spending less money compared to previous years, while 14% are planning to spend more.
Of those who are planning to spend more money, this extra expense will be going on Christmas presents (67%), indoor decorations (41%) and the tree (34%).
Celebrations will look a little different this year too, with almost a third celebrating via video call with family and 17% doing the same with friends. Just 4% of participants plan to travel abroad.
Time spent on social media is also likely to increase, with 28% of participants agreeing they’ll spend more time using it this festive period.