Not driving home for Christmas

Christmas is going to look a little bit different this year, but might there be an upside among all the gloom?

Christmas will look a little different for us all this year. While lockdown restrictions are set to loosen slightly, most of us will be having somewhat quieter celebrations than in previous years. Some of us are stuck in a different country to the rest of our family, some staying at home to avoid putting elderly relatives at risk, and for some, usual plans would involve gathering more households than we’re allowed this year. All in all, almost 1 in 4 of us won’t be seeing our parents and 1 in 10 won’t see grandparents.

However, if there was ever a time to search for the silver lining, it is now. Having a smaller celebration this year means that 29% of us won’t be experiencing the annual stress of cooking Christmas lunch. It could also be an unexpected time to save money. Our research shows that you could in fact make savings of up to nearly £400.

If this year has taught us anything, it’s to be resourceful and find new alternative ways to stay connected with our loved ones. Many of us, of all ages, have embraced technology and are going digital this Christmas, opting to use FaceTime/video services (61%) to contact family members. Not only does this act as a safer ‘face-to-face’ alternative option, but it also means extra savings, particularly for 18-34-year-olds, of which 80% stated they will be relying on FaceTime this year to stay in touch.

That said, there are a few amongst us destined for the naughty list. Almost 1 in 3 Brits admit that, irrespective of any rules that come into force, they would still have all their family over for Christmas. Worryingly, Londoners are most likely to be at the top of that list, with almost half (48%) of them admitting they would ignore the rules for the day.

Money Expert’s CEO, Jason Smith comments, “This year is an unusual one, and a lot of us won’t be spending as much time with loved ones as usual, but there are silver linings to be found. Not only can we all enjoy a change from the annual bustle of a busy big family Christmas, we can also make savings. The festive season can be a very expensive time, but this year there’s opportunity to make savings on energy consumption, travel and food, all of which are costs that can easily add up.”

On the plus side, the restrictions bring further early Christmas treats, with 13% of people now having a valid excuse not to see their in-laws, 7% delighted to have power over the TV remote and 11% grateful to stay clear of cheesy Christmas specials.