Christmas 2022: New research reveals UK cities feeling the glummest about the festive season

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Holidays are coming! But it seems that Christmas cheer isn’t for everyone this year

Christmas is coming round fast, and with the cost of living crisis, and sky-rocketing heating bills biting into everyone’s savings you’d be forgiven for not feeling the festive spirit the way you normally would, this year. Now, new research run by Virgin Experience Days has given a closer insight into the mood of Brits and how they are feeling towards Christmas this year.

The research was carried out across the UK’s most populated cities, canvassing a nationally representative sample of 2,001 people. The amount of people who were asked about their feelings towards Christmas this year was equally weighted across the cities analysed.

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After two years of disrupted Christmas plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that northerners are still waiting for the festive cheer to kick in. The research revealed that people in London are feeling most festive, with 61% of residents saying they’re more excited than last year.

The findings also revealed how Brits in different cities will celebrate Christmas. Despite feeling a bit downcast about the festive period, people in Edinburgh are most likely to see family on Christmas day, with 61% saying they plan to visit relatives. People in London, Bristol and Cardiff are the least likely to show up at grandma’s house this year, with only 40%, 41% and 41% voting the same.

Commenting on the research, Richard Hurd-Wood, CEO of Virgin Experience Days, said: “The pandemic created two very strange Christmases, so it’s no surprise to see many people looking forward to the festive period more than last year – but there are some big regional disparities.

“Despite the cost-of-living crisis, gifting is still a huge priority for people, with most Christmas budgets going towards treating families and friends. This is good news for the economy – and hopefully lots of small businesses and suppliers around the country who rely on Christmas for trade, including our 1,500 suppliers and experience providers.

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“At Virgin Experience Days we are committed to helping people find the perfect gift for their loved ones. There is clearly an appetite for gifts that allow people to spend time together while we make up for the past two years – especially during Christmas.”

So, what UK cities are the least excited about Christmas this year? Here’s the full list of places feeling the glummest.

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The UK cities least excited about Christmas:

The findings revealed that Geordies and people in Edinburgh are looking forward to Christmas the least, with only 39% and 37% respectively more excited than last year. Here are the top Christmassy-feeling cities in the UK in order of those looking forward to Christmas most:

  1. London (61%)
  2. Birmingham (60%)
  3. Southampton (56%)
  4. Manchester (54%)
  5. Nottingham (53%)
  6. Leeds (52%)
  7. Cardiff (52%)
  8. Plymouth (50%)
  9. Brighton (50%)
  10. Sheffield (50%)
  11. Liverpool (50%)
  12. Norwich (50%)
  13. Bristol (49%)
  14. Glasgow (48%)
  15. Belfast (47%)
  16. Newcastle (39%)
  17. Edinburgh (37%)
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