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Christmas

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Almost one in two respondents expect to spend less on Christmas than they did last year

When asked about their total expected Christmas expenditure this year compared to last year, almost nine in ten (88.6%) of respondents either reported that they expect to spend Less than last year (46.2%) or The same as last year (42.4%).  Fewer than one in ten (9.4%) stated that they expect to spend More than last year, and 2.0% reported they Don’t spend money on Christmas.  See Table 2.1.

Female respondents were more likely to report that they expect to spend More than last year (11.3%) compared to males (7.5%).  See Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1.

X-axis labelI don't spend money on ChristmasLess than last yearThe same as last year More than last year
Female0.345.443.111.3
Male3.84741.77.5

Younger respondents were more likely to report that they expect to spend More than last year when compared to older age groups.  One in seven (14.1%) respondents aged 18 to 34 reported they expect to spend More than last year compared to approximately one in twenty-five (3.9%) of those aged 70 and over.  See Table 2.1.

Respondents living in households with children were more likely to report that they will spend More than last year (15.6%), compared with 6.5% of respondents living in households with two or more adults and no children.  See Table 2.1.

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Respondents most worried about Not being able to mix with other households or see friends or family over the Christmas period

Respondents were asked about their worries, if any, of the impact of COVID-19 on their celebration of Christmas. Respondents could choose multiple responses.  Over one in ten (11.5%) of respondents reported that they were Not worried about Christmas.

Not being able to mix with other households or see friends or family was the most cited worry amongst respondents, with 74.5% reporting this, followed by Being unable to plan ahead, not knowing what restrictions will be in place (54.2%) and Household confinement over the Christmas period (41.9%).  See Tables 2.2a, 2.2b and Figure 2.2.

Worries in the context of celebration of ChristmasState
Not being able to mix with other households74.5
Being unable to plan ahead54.2
Household confinement41.9
No Christmas activities27.4
Inability to access shops26
Churches, places of worship closed23.7
Pubs and restaurants closed20.2
Inability to afford Christmas presents11.9
Other worries about Christmas8.4

Male respondents were more likely to be worried about Pubs and restaurants being closed (25.3% compared with 15.2% of females) whereas females were more likely to be worried about Not being able to mix with other households or see friends or family (79.4% compared with 69.4% of males) and Household confinement over the Christmas period (45.2% compared with 38.6% of males).  See Tables 2.2a, 2.2b and Figure 2.3.

X-axis labelMaleFemale
Not being able to mix with other households69.479.4
Being unable to plan ahead55.253.3
Household confinement38.645.2
No Christmas activities24.230.4
Inability to access shops 23.328.6
Pubs and restaurants closed25.315.2
Churches, places of worship closed26.521.1
Inability to afford Christmas presents9.514.2

Older respondents were more likely to be worried about Churches, places of worship closed over Christmas period compared to younger age groups.  More than one in three (35.8%) respondents aged 70 and over and 31.6% aged 55 to 69 were worried about this, compared to 24.7% aged 35 to 44 and 14.2% aged 18 to 34.  Respondents aged 35 to 44 were the most likely to be worried about No Christmas activities (41.0%), whereas 18 to 34 year olds were more likely to be worried about Pubs and restaurants being closed (25.5%) compared with other age groups.  See Tables 2.2a, 2.2b and Figure 2.4.

X-axis label18 to 3435 to 4445 to 5455 to 6970 and over
Not being able
to mix with
other households
82.373.664.968.582
Pubs and
restaurants closed
25.523.418.417.211
No Christmas
activities
31.14131.517.58.2
Inability to
afford Christmas
presents
12.517.214.38.54.1
Inability to
access shops
31.128.32918.319.8
Churches,
places of
worship closed
14.224.719.531.635.8
Being unable
to plan ahead
55.459.458.64847.4
Household
confinement
47.346.54133.538

Respondents living in households with children were more worried about there being No Christmas activities such as Christmas festivals, Santa visits, pantomimes, plays etc compared to those living in households without children.  Almost one in two (46.1%) respondents who live with children were worried about No Christmas activities compared to 17.8% of respondents living in households with two or more adults and no children, and 9.0% of respondents living alone.  See Table 2.2a.

Respondents that reported more than one worry related to celebrating Christmas were asked to choose the option they were most worried about in the context of their Christmas celebration.

Almost six in ten (58.2%) respondents were most worried about Not being able to mix with other households, 15.7% were most worried about Being unable to plan ahead and 10.3% were most worried about Household confinement.  See Tables 2.3a and 2.3b.

Respondents living in rented accommodation were more likely to be most worried about Inability to afford Christmas presents compared to respondents living in owner-occupied dwellings, 7.5% compared to 1.5%.

It is worth noting in this context that the CSO's 2019 Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) found that people living in rented accommodation had higher levels of enforced deprivation.  The enforced deprivation rate measures the proportion of individuals that are considered to be marginalised or deprived because they cannot afford goods and services which are considered to be the norm for other people in society.  In 2019, just over three in ten (34.4%) of those living in rented accommodation were living in enforced deprivation compared with one in ten (10.3%) of those living in owner occupied accommodation. See Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2019-Poverty and Deprivation.

Furthermore, respondents living in rented accommodation were also more likely to be most worried about Household confinement over the Christmas period (12.7%) compared to those living in owner-occupied households (9.9%).  Respondents living in owner-occupied dwellings were more likely to be most worried about Not being able to mix with other households or see friends or family compared to respondents living in rented accommodation, 60.1% compared to 47.2%.  See Tables 2.3a, 2.3b and Figure 2.5.

X-axis labelOther worries about Christmas Inability to afford Christmas presentsChurches, places of worship closedPubs and restaurants closedInability to access shops No Christmas activitiesHousehold confinementBeing unable to plan aheadNot being able to mix with other households
Rented1.912.7165.72.87.53.82.447.2
Owner-occupied29.915.64.81.31.52.8260.1
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Majority likely to comply with potential restrictions over the Christmas period

When asked about their likelihood of complying with potential restrictions preventing visits to family and friends during Christmas, almost three in five (57.5%) reported they were Likely or Very likely to comply fully.  Just over one in five (21.3%) said they were Unsure, while a similar proportion (21.1%) said they were Very unlikely or Unlikely to comply fully with potential restrictions.  See Table 2.4 and Figure 2.6.

X-axis labelLikely/Very likely to Comply UnsureVery unlikely/Unlikely to Comply
Likelihood to Comply Fully with Restricitions 57.521.321.1

Male respondents were more likely to respond that they would comply with restrictions preventing them from seeing their family and friends during Christmas.  Almost two in three (65.3%) of male respondents stated they were Likely or Very likely to comply compared to one in two (50.0%) of females.  See Table 2.4 and Figure 2.7.

X-axis labelFemaleMale
Likely/Very likely to Comply 5065.3
Unsure25.616.9
Very unlikely/Unlikely to Comply24.417.8

Older respondents were more likely to respond that they would comply with restrictions that would prevent them seeing their family and friends over the Christmas period.  More than four in five (81.8%) respondents aged 70 and over stated that they would be Likely or Very likely to comply compared to 41.9% of respondents aged 18 to 34.  See Table 2.4 and Figure 2.8.

X-axis labelLikely/Very likely to Comply UnsureVery unlikely/Unlikely to Comply
18 to 3441.925.732.4
35 to 4447.923.928.2
45 to 5456.423.919.7
55 to 6973.4179.5
70 and over81.811.46.8

Respondents were asked how concerned they were about the impact of COVID-19 on their own health.  Respondents could answer “Not at all”, “Somewhat”, “Very” or “Extremely”.

Seven in ten (70.5%) respondents who were Extremely concerned about their own health reported they were Likely or Very likely to comply with restrictions that would prevent them seeing their family and friends during Christmas compared to 37.3% of respondents who were Not at all concerned about their own health.  See Table 2.4.

Respondents were also asked how concerned they were about other people's ability to comply with government advice and guidelines regarding COVID-19.  Respondents could answer “Not at all”, “Somewhat”, “Very” or “Extremely”.

Just over two in three (67.5%) respondents who were Extremely concerned about the compliance of others were Likely or Very likely to comply with restrictions preventing visits to family and friends during Christmas compared to 26.0% of those who were Not at all concerned.  See Table 2.4.

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Table 2.1 Expenditure this Christmas by demographic and household characteristics, November 2020

Table 2.2a Worries for Christmas by demographic and household characteristics, November 2020

Table 2.2b Worries for Christmas by demographic and household characteristics, November 2020

Table 2.3a Most worried about for Christmas by demographic and household characteristics, November 2020

Table 2.3b Most worried about for Christmas by demographic and household characteristics, November 2020

Table 2.4 Comply fully with restrictions during Christmas by demographic, household and other characteristics, November 2020

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