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Making merry: British Columbians keep decorations up to brighten spirits amid pandemic

VANCOUVER: BC Hydro finds a third of British Columbians who put up holiday decorations will leave them up longer this year to combat COVID-19 blues. 

A new survey[1] conducted on behalf of BC Hydro finds four in five British Columbians put up holiday decorations or lights this past holiday season – and about 50 per cent of those decorated indoors and outdoors. Northerners topped the list of most likely to decorate at home.

Of those who decorated, nearly 40 per cent put decorations up earlier than usual. And when it came time to take them down in the New Year, about 40 per cent decided to leave them up longer– with Vancouver Islanders being the most likely to keep things merry and bright.

While there are many reasons British Columbians have chosen to extend the holiday season, those who are keeping their holiday decorations up longer this year overwhelmingly say they want to brighten up the COVID-19 winter. Many British Columbians also acknowledge spending more time at home is a reason to keep them up longer this year.

Decorating is one of few traditions this holiday season that was COVID-proof, and that may be why so many will keep them up longer than ever. About 10 per cent of British Columbians expect to keep them up past mid-January – with some planning to wait until February or later to take them down. Those living in the Lower Mainland and Southern Interior are the most likely to still have their holiday decorations on display in February.

For British Columbians planning to extend the holiday spirit this year, BC Hydro recommends:

  • Switching to LEDs: Save about $40 by switching eight strands of incandescent lights to energy efficient LEDs. LED holiday lights also last 10 times longer and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.
  • Plugging into timers: Reduce electricity costs by only having lights on when needed.
  • Using MyHydro: See how holiday decorating impacts electricity use by using the electricity tracking tools available on MyHydro, which can be accessed at

BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468

[1] Online survey conducted by Majid Khoury on behalf of BC Hydro of 800 British Columbians from January 12 to 13, 2021.