13 Couples On How They’re Actually Spending Christmas This Year

Photo Courtesy of Isabelle and Matt.
Whether it’s ice skating, stringing fairy lights around the tree or cosying up to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol with a tub of icecream, there are lots of ways to enjoy the festive season.
For many of us, Christmas 2022 feels like the first 'normal' Christmas since the start of the COVID pandemic, with more opportunities to spend time with loved ones or enjoy parties with friends. But this year we’re faced with a new challenge: the cost of living crisis. Research by Oxfam shows that over a third of shoppers are planning to spend less on presents this year due to worries about money and rising energy bills.
Christmas can be a magical time for lots of people but for those in a relationship, it can also involve navigating challenges like mixed expectations and different traditions, from what kind of gifts to give to what to eat or how you’ll split your time between each other’s family. And with the cost of living crisis, there’s even more pressure.
Of course, worries about costs are just as relevant to those who are unattached during the festive season.
No matter who you're sharing them with, the holidays can be filled with concerns about having the 'perfect' Christmas and comparing yourself with others, especially when you’re conscious of the cost. We see photos of people having what looks like a great time, with piles of presents around the tree or a truly decadent roast, and can feel lacking if our own Christmas doesn’t match up. According to the charity Mind, feeling frustrated by other people's views of a 'perfect' Christmas if these are different from your experiences is a common way our mental health can be affected. 
We spoke to 13 couples about their plans this year...
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