Survey: Have we really lost the Christmas spirit?

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Britain has less than half of the Christmas spirit it demonstrated during the season’s celebrations in the year 2000, a new national study has revealed.

The poll of 3,000 adults by hotel chain Best Wester has discovered that, for most, Christmas 2011 will be less than half as ‘merry’ as it was at the turn of the 21st century.

The clearest reason for the dramatic ‘spirit’ decline is that people are struggling financially because of the difficult economic times. According to the research, six out of 10 Brits say they would feel more festive if their financial concerns weren’t so acute.

A further 30 per cent said having more money to spend on Christmas presents for family and friends would ease the seasonal stress. The average Brit will spend a total of £356.24 on Christmas presents for family and friends this year – compared to the year 2000, where one in ten of us spent double the amount.

Seven out of 10 admit they can’t afford to have a good Christmas as the recession continues to bite. And, as a result, almost one in four Brits say their Christmas spirit is at an all-time low.

But despite the financial pressures, 60 per cent claim that spending quality time with loved ones is still the most important factor at Christmas time, bringing hope that the nations Christmas spirit is still alive.

Best Western life strategist Jenni Trent Hughes said: “In 2000 we were all experiencing what is known as ‘Millennium Fever’ and as a nation we collectively got swept away with the emotion. We totally believed that the new century was going to bring us a brave new world full of golden opportunities for each and every one of us.

“Fast forward to 2011 and many of us have less in our pockets and feel the pressure. It’s in these times that we should remember that it’s not the gifts that you give or the money you have that makes the holiday season, it’s the memories you create. Use this holiday season as a chance to recharge your batteries, give thanks for what good has happened this year and look forward to a joyful 2012.”