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Scots say 'Bah Humbug' to Outdoor Christmas Lights


Scots are planning to turn their backs on extravagant Christmas decorations to light up their homes this year.

New research from Clydesdale Bank has revealed that just 22% of Scots plan to illuminate their neighbourhood by decorating outside their homes with Santas, snowmen, Rudolphs and reindeers in the run-up to Christmas.

Clydesdale Bank’s quarterly Homebuyers Report also revealed that 10% of Scots who have decorated their homes in previous years are not planning to do so over this festive season.

Though rising utility bills and greater cost consciousness may well see fewer cul-de-sacs lit up like Christmas trees this year, people in the north of Scotland are more likely to keep the ‘Northern Lights’ going this year. The research found 37% of those in the Highlands and 29% in Grampian still planning on a dazzling display.

 Which regions are planning outdoor Christmas decorations:

  • Highlands, including Inverness  37%
  • Grampian, including Aberdeen  29%
  • Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth  19%
  • Glasgow and Edinburgh   17%

Clydesdale Bank’s research also found a regional divide in people’s opinions towards Christmas lights.  A staggering 80% of people in the Highlands are fond of extravagant outdoor decorations, whilst 34% of those in Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth dislike or even hate over the top lights. 

Steve Reid, Clydesdale Bank’s head of retail, said: “Whether you love them or loath them everyone seems to have an opinion about outdoor Christmas lights.  While some people see them as wasteful and tacky, others enjoy the Christmas spirit and cheer they bring to a community.

“Whatever decorations you opt for, it’s still possible to have fun this festive season whilst sticking to a budget. Christmas is a special time of year and should be about enjoying time with friends and family rather than how much money you spend.”

Clydesdale Bank’s simple tips to save money this Christmas:

  1. Set a budget – and stick to it. Work out how much you can afford to spend and don’t exceed this amount.  
  2. Remember the most expensive present is not necessarily the best. Sometimes a more thoughtful, personal gift can be more appreciated. For example, new parents may prefer the offer of babysitting rather than more perfume or aftershave.
  3. Shop about - when you have decided what you want to buy, look for the best bargain. Many shops have sales in the run-up to Christmas, so pick your purchasing timing wisely.
  4. Group together – rather than buying gifts for every one of your friends individually, why not hold a secret Santa where each person buys for just one friend?
  5. Have a family feast – ask your guests to bring a course or some goodies with them so you don’t have sole responsibility for Christmas dinner.  It could simply be bringing the wine or the Christmas crackers but will help you share the expense.

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