Most people in the UK are looking forward to Christmas because it brings us closer to making a new start in the new year after the hardships of 2020, according to a poll for Poundland.
As preparations for the festive season gather pace, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of adults who celebrate Christmas agree the best thing about this year’s festive season is it means we are almost at the end of 2020 and have the opportunity to start afresh in 2021.
The feeling is strongest in Wales (70%), followed by the West Midlands (68 per cent), East of England (66%) and Northern Ireland (64 per cent). Older people (67% for the over-55s)) agree more strongly than younger people (56% of 18-24-year-olds).
The survey of 2,072 adults by YouGov for discount retailer Poundland also showed that a third of those who celebrate Christmas (34%) felt the Coronavirus outbreak made Christmas feel more important this year, against 21% who thought it felt less important.
Overall, it looks as though spending on Christmas festivities will not be affected. Slightly more (45%) said they were unlikely to cut back on Christmas spending as a result of their current financial circumstances than those who said they were likely to cut back (43%).
And if you think everyone did their Christmas shopping early this year because of Covid, think again. Only a third (33%) said they would shop earlier, and most would do their shopping at the same time (44%) or even later (11%).
Many are keen to avoid a late rush, with 43% planning to spread out their Christmas shopping over the next six weeks to make sure they can buy all they need in time and 34% spreading their shopping to help manage household budgets. Some 14% expect to do some shopping at the last minute and just 55 aim to leave it all to the last minute.
For details of Poundland’s Christmas ranges, from treats and toys to decorations and festive fashion, please visit: https://www.poundland.co.uk/great-ideas/browse-our-christmas-2020-lookbook/.
But the pandemic has had an impact on the national mood. Of those who celebrate Christmas, 43% felt the coronavirus and restrictions in place meant they would enjoy Christmas less this year and just 15% thought they would have more fun.
Most people expect to do less socialising than in a normal year. Almost half (48%) said they would have fewer visitors than usual, and 58% expect to stay at home and not visit as many family and friends.
The boom in Zoom and Teams calls during lockdown means seasonal get-togethers could be a digital affair for many, with 24% saying they would try creative ways to celebrate such as a video call while eating Christmas dinner.
Poundland’s trading director Tim Bettley said: “The study reflects what our customers have been telling us in our stores up and down the country. Let’s say bah humbug to 2020 and ring in the changes for 2021. Christmas won’t be the same this year, but in many ways, it will mean more to people than ever.
“Our stores have been open to serve their communities throughout the year and whether you’re planning to start shopping early, spread it over the next few weeks or do it all in a last minute rush, we’ll be there to help make it a Christmas to remember.”