According to this I'm Dreaming of a Tight Christmas piece on Sky News, a recent survey found that -- due to the current economic crisis -- many people in the UK were planning to cut back on their spending this year --with an average reduction of over £100 on previous Christmases. The only useful aspect of that survey, as far as I'm concerned, is that it kept someone in a job, for it's pretty damn obvious that there's going to be substantial cutbacks from the majority of the UK population this year.
Not only will people be cutting back due to increased costs due to rises in the cost of living but there's also the looming threat of a possible wave of redundancies. The Times is reporting -- 'Jobless Total Could Hit a Million by Christmas' -- that unemployment is set to soar in the United Kingdom, as the recession bites.
So, it not just that people have less to spend, it's also that fear of what might be in the financial horizon has made people wary of spending what little they have left after they've paid for the essentials.
But I don't think many will be thinking of cancelling Christmas and it will be more the case of making sure the celebrations are more about the things that really matter -- all the old-fashioned stuff, like goodwill to your fellow man and sharing a special time with your family. There's bound to be a drastic decrease in the whole 'shop 'til you drop' phenomena and this year, at least, it may be more about the exchange of token gifts or the giving of less-expensive but more meaningful presents. A silver cloud, perhaps, but little comfort for those who may find themselves out of a job in the coming months.
I'm sure that sites like Frugal Living will be getting quite a surge in visitors in the near future -- here's their advice for a Frugal Christmas.