Christmas lights: council spending and sponsorship
17 December 2012 Last updated at 11:58 GMT
Some councils have been cutting back on festive lights in their town centres, while others have taken up sponsors or are talking about getting private firms to help out and see their names in lights in return for money.
Mark Denten, from the Sunday Politics in the North East and Cumbria team, checked out the northern lights and heard form Newcastle councillor Henri Mursison.
He said his city was not going to be fussy, and may have to look "a little bit gaudy" if it wants to keep its annual lights show in future year.