Deck the halls….whenever you like

We asked people around the UK how they were feeling about festivities and decorations this year. Find out what we learned.

23 December 2020

Baubles hanging on a Christmas tree

It’s certainly been a topic of hot debate in ShelterBox’s virtual offices this winter – how early is too early to hit the decs?

Expectations have been mounting. Unless you select a snazzy virtual background during video calls, the eagle-eyed will soon spot from your décor whether you’re more Santa or Scrooge this winter.

Some of us have childhood memories of a magically transformed house on Christmas morning (thank you, sleep-deprived parents). We believe that there’s a ‘Dec’ in December for a reason. For others, the first whiff of an advent calendar in the seasonal aisle signals it’s time to get busy with the tinsel.

Frankly, this year anything goes – your Christmas, your rules.


We asked people around the UK how they were feeling about festivities and decorations this year. While 60% were understandably gloomy and feeling less excited about Christmas 2020, we found that festive lights could hold the answer.

More than half of respondents (53%) said lights were their favourite way to decorate their homes, trouncing the bauble into second place (34%). And almost a quarter of those surveyed (22%) said they’d be getting their lights up earlier in 2020. The main reason people gave was to feel cosy and cheered up in a bleak pandemic year.

I think we can all agree with that – light is an important source of comfort and celebration around the world. After Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines in November 2013, traditional Christmas star lanterns, ‘parols’, were still raised over the wreckage as a sign of hope.

And here at ShelterBox, we know that light plays a vital part in turning a shelter into a home. It’s why we include solar lights in our emergency aid packages.

Our homes are a place to be together, to feel safe, cook, study, and play – but when homes and power are lost in a disaster, none of that is possible. Light brings a sense of hope and helps families to recover some sense of home.



Just one solar light can provide around 10,000 hours of light in its lifetime. In 2019, ShelterBox provided 30,000 solar lights to families after disaster – that’s 300 MILLION hours of light in the dark.

Solar lights are also in our aid packages to the Philippines (Cyclone Goni), Honduras (Hurricanes Eta and Iota), and winter warmth distributions in Syria.

You’ve helped make that happen.

Whether your winter display is so elaborate it can be seen from space, or you’re turning down the dimmer switch on a shocker of a year, as a ShelterBox supporter you’ve provided shelter, light and hope to so many in 2020.

Everyone in the ShelterBox family warmly wishes you a very Happy Christmas, Seasons Greetings and a peaceful, hopeful New Year.

See how you made a difference in 2020