Tuesday 16 January 2018

Friends 'frozen out at Christmas'

Some 26 per cent of Britons won't be meeting up with friends over Christmas, a poll suggests
Some 26 per cent of Britons won't be meeting up with friends over Christmas, a poll suggests

Money worries, freezing weather and snow have led to more than a quarter (26%) of British people giving friends the cold shoulder this Christmas, according to research.

Scots are the least sociable with almost one in three (32%) saying it is not important for them to meet up with friends over Christmas, the study found. They are closely followed by the Welsh (30%) and those in the east (30%).

However, those in Northern Ireland showed more determination to brave the icy conditions with almost nine in 10 (88%) planning festive celebrations with friends, and those in the north east (84%) and London (82%) are also getting into the party spirit.

Money worries are having a significant impact on social lives this Christmas with nearly half (44%) of British people claiming stretched personal finances may affect their decision to meet up with friends.

While those in Northern Ireland are most likely to meet up with friends during the cold snap, nearly three quarters (71%) say money worries may affect their decision.

Londoners (51%) and Midlanders (48%) are also worried about the impact of festive celebrations on their wallets while those in the north east (38%) are least concerned about costs.

The research was carried out by Visit Birmingham.com, in partnership with London Midland, as part of the It's got to be a Birmingham Christmas! campaign.

Professor Craig Jackson, head of psychology at Birmingham City University, said: "There is much to be said for the benefits of people getting together over the festive period. The opportunity to come together and celebrate with friends and family can be really therapeutic - despite the potential for rows and family tiffs.

"Taking the time out to plan and arrange a get-together can be a relaxing exercise in itself. The trick is to not let it become stressful and a source of worry - keeping it all in perspective is crucial in order to keep it from becoming stressful for the organiser."

David Whitley, head of marketing for London Midland, said: "With research showing that people are concerned about the cost of Christmas get-togethers, the train is the ideal way to get to Birmingham this year."

Press Association

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