Skip to main content


We know that Christmas can be a tough time of year financially. We therefore wanted to know how much this affects us when it comes to financial wellbeing. So, in October we commissioned some research with 2,000 UK parents to find out about their spending habits.

Wednesday 3 November 2021 13:25 Press release

Family playing in snow

According to this research, over 4.5 million Brits are planning to spend over £300 per child on Christmas presents this year. As a nation facing rising energy prices, making it more costly to heat and power our homes, the increase in fuel prices, food supply costs and shortages, and with inflation set to continue to rise - a spend of over £300 per child (£600 per typical two child household) is quite a concerning financial burden on parents. 

As 47% of families admit they get excited by gift giving, there poses a risk of increasing debt and poor financial security for the worst hit families if they do not budget effectively.

John Penberthy-Smith, our Chief Commercial Officer comments: “Our latest research does raise some concerns when we consider the financial wellbeing of families as they approach the festive season. Christmas, and gift giving, appears to be one of the main reasons many will rely on borrowing money and risk long term financial uncertainty, because of the commercialisation of Christmas.  Gift giving is an important part of Christmas, so nobody wants that to end, but should we really be risking getting into debt and financial uncertainty for the sake of a few extra presents? Shouldn’t Christmas be about our family, loved ones and spending quality time being grateful we are, and can be, together?”

As the festive season approaches, what are we most looking forward to in 2021? 57% said they were excited to spend more quality time with their children, 48% are excited for Christmas Dinner, 43% of us are looking forward to some time away from work, and a quarter of us are ready to get into the party spirit.

“It is nice to see so many people looking forward to Christmas in 2021. Following a year where we couldn’t even hug our families, and a Christmas Day for millions spent speaking with relatives and loved ones over Zoom, it is no surprise that we are looking forward to some semblance of normality. This is where our focus should be. Not on expensive gifts with a short shelf life but enjoying time together as a family and making memories that will last a lifetime. It is tough not being able to gift the entire list your children request each year.

Children are sponges for information, so why not shift the conversation around present giving and why they cannot always have everything they want to be more educational. Discuss where money comes from, where it is spent and how important money is to keep a roof over our heads, heating on and food on the table. Psychological studies have found that having these conversations have not only a positive impact on the child but can also bring the family closer together.”