Christmas time not to be merry...

Money worries, freezing weather and snow have led to more than a quarter (26 per cent) of British people giving friends the cold shoulder this Christmas, according to research published today.

Scots are the least sociable with almost one in three (32 per cent) saying it is not important for them to meet up with friends over Christmas, the study found.

They are closely followed by the Welsh (30 per cent) and those in the east (30 per cent).

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However, almost nine in 10 people in Northern Ireland (88 per cent) were planning festive celebrations with friends, and those in the North-East (84 per cent) and London (82 per cent) are also getting into the party spirit.

Nearly half (44 per cent) of British people claiming stretched personal finances may affect their decision to meet up with friends.

The research was carried out by Visit, in partnership with London Midland.