New research proves it really is the giving that counts this Christmas

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

It’s the buying and giving of presents that is officially the moment we look forward to the most at Christmas, according to new research from Sainsbury’s which has revealed that for 54% of Brits gift buying and wrapping is the best bit about Christmas.

merry_little_christmas_smallThe study by YouGov, commissioned by Sainsbury’s, found that despite recent straightened times, Brits have shifted their spending to ensure they can still celebrate the magic of Christmas. The average spend per child is set to be £104, while one in five parents plan on spending more than £200 on each child. This equates to a total spend of almost £1.4bn on kids’ presents across Britain.

However, it’s not just kids that will be celebrating on Christmas morning; we are all set to do well in the gifting department this year as the survey also revealed that:

  • 43% of Brits will spend a minimum of £75 on their partner

  • Mums will do better than dads this year, with the average Brit spending £5 more on Mum’s Christmas present
  • Pets are set to be pampered with pet owners spending an average of £8.21 on each household pet.

Further evidence to prove we are getting into the true spirit of Christmas is the fact that 37% of adults polled admitted that they will be buying gifts for people even if they know they won’t receive one in return.

Aside from giving gifts the research revealed the other moments that will give Brits a truly memorable Christmas this year. For 62% spending quality time with friends and family is what gets them most excited. For a quarter of Brits, going for drinks with friends on Christmas Eve is one of their top three favourite moments, and for 30% of Brits’ playing family games came out on top. Furthermore, for 18%, putting the angel on the Christmas tree topped their favourite festive moments.

Sarah Warby, Marketing Director at Sainsbury’s said: "Christmas is a really special time for our customers. This research shows that although pressures on household budgets continue, customers are still able to enjoy moments of indulgence and treat their friends and family.

“We also know that Christmas isn’t just about one day, but a series of moments that are celebrated throughout the festive season. Whether that be giving and receiving gifts, spending time with friends and family or putting the angel on top of the tree, we want our customers to celebrate the rituals that make the build up to Christmas special for them.”

While not wishing to be a spoil sport in any way I must say that I find the amount that is being spent rather excessive and while giving is great the value of the gift should not, in my opinion, be measured in monetary terms.

The truth is still, as was said before, that handmade gift are those that really are valued more than those that are bought from the stores. And while today's kids, in the main, have been brainwashed into consumerism and the must have the latest gadget, it is a case of upbringing that creates such expectations.

OK, the handmade appreciation may not, necessarily, extend to the multicolored sweater knitted by Aunt Marilyn (or whatever her name may be) and which is far too large. In general, however, this appreciation does still surpass the appreciation of bought gifts.

If we must celebrate Christmas with giving of gifts then, maybe, we should reconsider what and how we give.

© 2012