by Astrid Hall

Nearly half of Brits admit a thoughtless panic-buying approach to picking up gifts to give to loved ones at Christmas, research has found.

A study of 2,000 adults revealed just one in five will plan exactly what they are going to buy for Christmas this year, with many buying the first thing they see just to ‘get it done’.

One third even admitted leaving their shopping to the week before Christmas, leaving them rushing their to grab bits and pieces as they try to get everything bought in time.

It also emerged more than one quarter get caught up in the commercialism of the season and feel under pressure to buy presents for their partner, despite not always being able to afford it.

And one in three worry about how much they spend on friends and family because of the amount they will spend in return.

Forty-five per cent of people even claimed to lose their festive cheer because of the burden they feel around gift giving.

Leading online lender MYJAR.com, who commissioned the study, said: “Despite being a sentimental nation, life can get in the way meaning we leave buying our Christmas gifts to the last minute and even panic buy just to put something under the tree.

“This often results in spending more than intended and can even leave our loved ones disappointed with generic or seemingly thoughtless gifts.”

The research also revealed the average family will receive £462 worth of presents over the Christmas period.

And thirty-seven per cent said they had received a ‘thoughtless’ gift.

Nearly one third said they use credit cards to cover the cost of Christmas.

Despite two thirds of the nation setting a festive budget, 15 per cent admit they don’t stick to it.

Just 17 per cent have done their festive shopping more than a month ahead of 25th December, with one in five leaving it to the week before Christmas.

Scots are Britain’s most organised gift-givers, with 28 per cent knowing in advance exactly what they will be giving for Christmas this year.

And the Welsh come out top for not giving into the temptation of a ‘panic purchase’ – with six in ten claiming to never have bought ‘any old thing’ as a Christmas gift.

People in the North East of England are the most prepared Christmas shoppers, with one third of them finishing all of their Christmas shopping one month ahead of time.

East Midlanders are most content with their presents, with four in ten believing they receive thoughtful gifts.

Animal-loving Brits always find time and budget for their furry friends, with nine per cent admitting to treating their pet to gifts worth £50 or more.

Brits will often buy gifts for themselves, with a festive treat costing an average of £21.

A spokesman for MYJAR added: “The results of the survey are a stark reminder that it’s not necessary to spend above your means at Christmastime, especially if you are resorting to using credit cards to keep up with the commercial side of Christmas and the pressure to be generous.”

“They say that the best things in life are free – and since so many would much prefer to receive a thoughtful gift over an expensive one, investing time in finding thoughtful gifts can result in both better-received gifts and money saved.”


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