Jingle Bell Rock(down): 2 in 3 North Yorkshire residents do not expect to spend Christmas with their family this year, reveals survey

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Snow laughing matter… Having spent roughly three months in lockdown, Brits are well aware that social distancing regulations are serious business. In fact, following a surge in infections, the most recent update from the government limits socialising in groups of more than six people. Even though it may not seem like it, we are 3/4 of the way through the year, meaning some of us are beginning to think about the festive season and more specifically, starting to save up to cover all the costs involved. However, due to the severity and scale of the pandemic and the possibility that social distancing will be implemented well into 2021, could the UK be in store for a not-so-merry Christmas in 2020?

Christmas.co.uk, provider of Christmas tips, tricks and traditions, conducted a survey of 2,600 respondents on their pandemic predictions for the festive season. It was found that over 2 in 3 (69%) North Yorkshire residents do not expect to spend Christmas with their extended family this year.

Since a post-pandemic future is largely unpredictable, it’s no wonder that nearly half (45%) say that if the coronavirus pandemic continues through to next year, they would feel safer having a ‘virtual’ Christmas than seeing extended family in person for the holiday season. Video calling apps are constantly evolving to suit our lockdown needs, so you can even host a virtual family Christmas dinner with multiple members from all around the world if you want!

However, being in lockdown for so long also means people are missing the experience of spending quality time in the presence of loved ones. 86% say Christmas is the most difficult time of year to spend without family around. This was followed by New Year (9%), Easter (3%) and Birthdays (2%).

It seems many Brits have been avid users of video platforms as nearly half (41%) say the extended lockdown has brought them closer to their family. Now more than ever, connecting with a family member from across the country is as simple as pressing a green call button.

Additionally, given the current state of the economy, half of couples say they will have to start saving earlier in order to buy Christmas gifts this year. Considering many are struggling to make ends meet, it is perhaps understandable why nearly 1 in 5 (18%) say they will have to borrow money to cover Christmas costs this year.

Sleigh it ain’t snow… People are willing to breach the law for their loved ones this festive season – 29% of survey respondents say they would break the rules to see family if lockdown regulations were imposed again over Christmas!

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Harrogate Informer