For the third edition of Parentdex, canvassed 5,000 parents from across the nation on their attitudes towards the costs of trying to achieve the perfect Christmas. It’s one of the most expensive times of year for everyone, with many of us admitting to spending well beyond our means over the festive period.

Parentdex - edition three

The UK Christmas spending spree  

Mums and dads across the country are set to spend an average of £800 over the festive season this year, and approximately £259 of this will be going on buying presents for their children. However, a third of parents are likely to rely on their credit cards to cover part of this cost, despite some still paying off last Christmas.

We’ve taken a look at how Christmas spending is set to shape up across the country, comparing how much parents are likely to spend overall and how many will be crunching their credit cards to fund the silly season.

To find out how the spending habits of parents in your local city rival those across other parts of the nation this Christmas, click on the hotspots on our interactive map below.

Click the infographics below. 

Shakila Hashmi

Shakila Hashmi

Head of Money

“If these findings are anything to go by, it is no surprise that the Bank of England has raised concerns about the increasing levels of consumer debt. Our research shows that parents are fuelling the credit boom by consistently failing to account for their Christmas spending year-on-year.


“That said, Christmas is a difficult time financially for parents, with children’s expectations getting ever higher. It is important that parents plan well ahead of time, taking advantage of any deals that may be available in the run up to the festive season.”

Tis’ the season of….breaking into Santa’s grotto  

Not only did we look at parents’ spending habits over Christmas, but also their willingness to go the extra mile, quite literally, to get the perfect Christmas gift.

When asked what the most extreme lengths were that you have gone to in a bid to get the greatest gift for your children, responses included:

  • Breaking into Santa’s grotto with relatives and friends 
  • Sleeping outside stores to be there for the opening
  • Flying to New York to collect a present
  • Going without food to save money
  • Asking grandparents to create home-made replicas of the real thing
  • Fighting with other parents
  • Appearing on TV to complain about a lack of stock

Previous Parentdex Reports: parents' thoughts on the economy

Read our initial Parentdex report on parents' attitudes towards childcare


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