No, don’t worry, I’m not proclaiming the end of the world (yet), just of the year 2022. Another one in the line of don’t-know-what-to-call-this-anymore years since the start of the 2020s. And what are we doing at the end of this year? In Germany – and not just there, I’d venture to say– they are apparently tightening their belts.

This is according to a recent YouGov survey on how Germans plan to save money this Christmas to counter the rising cost of energy and inflation. Based on the results, German Christmas celebrations might this year be a bit darker and feature fewer presents – but here’s the good news: still lots to eat.

In general, 44 per cent of the respondents said that they intend to save money this Christmas and two thirds have identified a clear route to achieving their saving goals: just cut down on gifting and spend less on presents. More precisely, 25 per cent less, and 22 per cent even said that they did not want to spend any money at all on Christmas presents this year, which is up from just seven per cent last year.

The reduced number of pressies will apparently then still be lovingly displayed under a nice Christmas tree, because only 11 per cent want to save money by getting a smaller tree. So, the picture that now emerges is that of a few presents under a big tree – potentially without any lights. Because 40 per cent want to save money in the area of Christmas lighting, including one third that will not light their Christmas tree at all this year and two thirds that will say no to the otherwise very popular fairy lights in the garden or on the balcony.

So, there will be fewer presents and it will be a bit darker, but don’t you take our Christmas dinner away from us! Rising prices or not, Germans intend to enjoy their Christmas goose, dumplings and other delicacies, with 56 per cent stating that they are not going to save on food. Which is, from my perspective, a good priority to have. I mean who needs silly lights and unnecessary presents? Well, nothing left to say but ‘Merry Christmas’ then – and fingers crossed for a slightly less mind-boggling new year.

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Discover Germany, Switzerland & Austria.

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