The host of Christmas past: celebrations cancelled as households look to save money

The cost of living crisis threatens the Christmases of 11m Britons as concerns over energy prices prompt them to cancel or abandon plans.1

According to smart money platform, Credit Karma, nearly a third (30%) of adults have no money set aside to cover the energy costs of the holidays this year as high rates sting families hosting Christmas dinners, throwing parties and enjoying seasonal movies.

The total gas and electricity used for festivities, such as roasting a turkey, listening to music and running Christmas lights is set to add another £24 to the bill2 – that’s on top of increased standing charges, making it a whopping 173% more for gas and 84% higher for electricity than recorded over the holidays last year.3

As such, nearly a quarter (23%) will need to rely on credit, such as personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts to cover Christmas expenses, including food and presents, and the majority (52%) admit they’ll need to limit their energy consumption over the holidays as prices for gas and electricity continue to rise.

Others will need help from friends and family, nearly a quarter (22%) will be reliant on guests chipping in financially, or bringing things with them, such as food or decorations to keep costs down, while others are hoping to attend gatherings hosted by friends and family to avoid the expense of Christmas hosting altogether.4

Ziad El Baba, General Manager at Credit Karma UK commented: “With many households struggling to cover even basic expenses at the moment, plans for Christmas are understandably far from front of mind. For those struggling to cover payments, or worried about how they’ll manage to keep up following the next energy price cap in January, consider keeping an open dialogue with creditors and utilities providers, and taking advantage of any government help you’re entitled to.”

1, Opinium estimates that there are 52.6 million adults in the UK. 93% report that they celebrate Christmas (52.6 x 0.93 = 48.92). Of these 23% will be unable to host Christmas this year due to rising expenses (48.92 x 0.23 = 11.25 million adults)
2, Based on October prices from the Centre of Sustainable Energy and expected use of each item per household
3, According to the Commons Library Briefing on Domestic Energy Prices (November 2022), Page 20
4, 25% will only attend celebrations hosted by friends and family over Christmas to keep costs down at home.