HomeResources20+ Must-Know Christmas Statistics for UK Shoppers

20+ Must-Know Christmas Statistics for UK Shoppers

Last updated 23rd Nov 2022
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Christmas statistics for the UK tell us that it is around age eight that most Britons stop believing in Santa Claus, or Father Christmas if you prefer. However you want to call him, the gift-giving spirit of Saint Nicholas is alive and well for most Brits, regardless of their age. Data suggests that a large percentage of the UK population sees the festive season as an opportunity to relax their spending constraints and shop for the things they wished for throughout the whole year. Besides presents, Brits like to treat themselves and their close ones to trips, social events, and fancy dinners for Christmas.

Christmas Statistics for the UK - The Highlights

  • 22% of Britons say they feel pressured to buy more than needed when they are shopping for Christmas.

  • The average spending of British households in December is 29% higher than the rest of the year.

  • The average Brit gets into £439 of debt because of Christmas spending.

  • 37% of Britons believe they will spend more than they should this Christmas.

  • The average Christmas spend in the UK is £1,108 per person.

  • The wishlists of British children have 16 suggestions and an average worth of £294.58.

  • The average amount parents spend on gifts for their children in the UK is £190.

  • Brits are willing to spend an average of £197 on hotel stays for Christmas.

  • 14% of the general British population expects their debt to grow over the festive season.

  • Canceling Christmas is not an option for 60% of the British population.

General Christmas Statistics

Canceling Christmas is not an option for 60% of the British population.

What’s interesting is that even the majority of Brits who have a hard time keeping up with their financial commitments (59%) and those with at least three bills past due (65%) agree that Christmas must not be canceled. Moreover, 28% of Brits say that even though they are careful about spending throughout the rest of the year, they buy everything they want for Christmas. Additionally, 26% feel like Christmas is the only time of the year when they can truly treat their families to everything that they want.

(YouGov)

The wishlists of British children have 16 suggestions and an average worth of £294.58.

Christmas presents statistics further reveal that, even when they had been gifted a present from their very own wishlist, 41% of British kids have been unimpressed with their gift. This fact can possibly explain why two in five British parents don’t know what to buy their kids, while 47% say it is difficult to provide suggestions to their friends and family. As a result, one in four parents expects their child to be disappointed with the Christmas present they buy for them.

(Express)

The average amount parents spend on Christmas gifts for their children in the UK is £190.

However, stats show the most common Christmas budget British parents have is exactly £100 per child. Moreover, the average amount UK families spend on presents is £363. And while the youngest of children have the simplest of wishes and require inexpensive presents, the average teenager in the UK requests presents that typically cost over £150. Finally, data reveals that it isn’t uncommon for seniors to spend hundreds of pounds buying presents for their adult children who, in some cases, are over 40 years old.

(EADT)

7% of British women and 4% of British men say they will not spend anything on Christmas decorations.

Christmas stats show that the largest portion of Brits plan on spending up to £50 on Christmas decorations. More precisely, this is the amount that 35% of female and 31% of male Britons consider spending. Furthermore, 24% of British men and 17% of British women are willing to spend up to £100 on Christmas decorations. Finally, there are also Brits that spare no expense when it comes to Christmas decorations, with 18% of British men and 16% of British women planning on spending over £150.

(Statista)

54% of Brits are having turkey as their main meat for Christmas.

UK Christmas statistics reveal that turkey is the undisputed champion of meats on British Christmas dinner tables, as only 10% of Brits are having chicken as their main meat. However, this difference may be reduced in the following years, as there is a chicken-preference trend among younger Brits, between 18 and 24 years of age. Namely, 18% of youngsters from this age group are having chicken, and 46% of them are having turkey. Additionally, while only 8% of all British have a vegetarian alternative, this percentage jumps to 13% for the aforementioned youngsters.

(YouGov)

85% of British adults put up a Christmas tree every year.

On the other hand, the Xmas statistics from a recent survey show that 4.5% of Brits don’t usually put up a tree, and an additional 10.5% never do. Data further reveals that 29.1% of Britons put up their trees in the first week of December, while 22.1% do it in the second week of December. There are also 13.4% of people who can’t wait, so they put their trees up in November, and a small percentage of 2% of the British population does it even before November begins.

(Scribbler)

34.1% of Brits say they are not worried about the environmental impact of Christmas.

Unfortunately, Christmas statistics for the UK show a smaller percentage of Brits who are always concerned about the environment and its impact on the festive season. Only 23.5% say they consider it around Christmas time, while another 12.2% say they do think about it but are not concerned about it enough to make any changes. The only encouraging statistic comes from the younger generation of Brits, between 18 and 24, 74% of which say they are always considering the environment and planning to make a conscious effort to reduce their impact on it.

(Nerd Wallet)

Christmas Shopping Statistics for the UK

22% of Britons say they feel pressured to buy more than needed when they are shopping for Christmas.

More precisely, 13% of Brits say they feel pressured to buy premium brands, while 14% say they feel pushed into buying large expense items when shopping for Christmas presents and food. Moreover, 21% of Brits say they feel pressured to overspend even on the things they can afford. Lastly, 10% say this pressure is coming from social media, and they feel compelled to keep up with the trends they see there.

(Lowel)

The UK’s retail sales grew by 7.3% for Christmas 2021.

Christmas shopping facts for the UK reveal that online sales in 2021 dropped by 7% after the COVID-19 pandemic-induced growth of 46.3% in 2020. Physical store sales, on the other hand, were up by 14.2%. Retailers of alcohol and tobacco were the biggest winners, with a remarkable 43.5% growth in November and a 4.2% increase in December, compared to their numbers from the previous year. Additionally, small food stores saw a significant increase of 15.7%, while large food retailers only grew by 1.5%. A 9.6% growth was noted at non-food stores as well.

(Retail Research)

31% of Brits do their festive shopping exclusively online.

Statistics on Christmas sales in the UK show that the number of online shoppers has more than quadrupled since 2020, when only 7% of Brits said they will shop entirely online. Recent data reveals that 61% of Brits want the best of both worlds, so they take a combined approach and shop both online and in-store, though most of the shopping would be done online for 75% of them. Younger Brits, aged between 18 and 24, are the most likely group to opt for this hybrid approach, with 68%.

(Yodel)

44% of Britons plan on finishing their Christmas shopping before Black Friday.

On the other hand, 48% of them say they don’t intend to spend a penny during the Christmas sales. Moreover, almost a fourth, or 23% of Brits, have it in their plans to gift cash instead of buying a present, with another 46% considering it as an option. Lastly, 38% of Britons believe that this year's World Cup will help build up the Christmas cheer, especially Londoners, 36% of whom believe it will give them inspiration regarding their selection of Christmas presents.

(IPA)

“Thoughtful” is the word that best describes the gifts that 56% of Brits will be buying for Christmas.

According to a recent survey on Christmas shopping in the UK, 26% of Britons will put a lot of thought into their gift selection to buy meaningful gifts for their friends and family. ‘Functional’ and ‘creative’ are other popular words that describe the types of presents that another 30% and 25% of Brits will be buying. Furthermore, ‘essential’ and ‘economical’ are cited by another 23% and 15%, respectively. In contrast, 16% of Brits want to buy luxury presents, with 11% using the word ‘frivolous’ and another 10% saying they plan on buying token gifts for Christmas.

(eBay Ads)

51% of Britons plan to start shopping for Christmas gifts before December.

Christmas shopping facts show that while more than half of Britons start buying gifts as early as possible, another 22% like to do so at the beginning of December. In addition, there are 11% of Brits who are in no rush and only start shopping for gifts in the middle of December. However, even they can be considered early birds, compared to the 5% who only start buying gifts just a week before Christmas. Lastly, data shows that there is a small portion of 1% of Brits who buy their Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.

(Statista)

Christmas Spending Statistics for the UK

The average spending of British households in December is 29% higher than the rest of the year.

During a typical month, the average British family spends £2,500. This amount increases by an average of £740 to £3,240 in December. The most significant growth in retail spending can be noted among book and music and video recording equipment, which increases by 100% and 95% compared to the other 11 months. Additionally, the sales numbers of computers and phones are up by 61%, clothing by 49%, and alcoholic drinks, other beverages, and tobacco by 38%.

(Bank of England)

The average spend on Christmas in the UK is £1,108 per person.

Data reveals that British women are planning to spend more, or £1,138, than men, who are intending to spend £1,079 for the festive season. Presents are traditionally the biggest expense for Britons, with an average of £388. However, there are different estimates among people from different age groups, so Brits between 45 and 54 are expecting to spend an average of £453 on gifts, while those between 25 and 34 are willing to spend £334. Finally, women are also planning to spend more on presents than men, with £405 vs £365.

(YouGov)

Brits are willing to spend an average of £197 on hotel stays for Christmas.

The average Christmas spending of Britons is notably affected by the lift of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. In comparison, in 2020, Britons were only willing to spend £87 on hotel stays. Additionally, that year, Brits only planned an average of £79 on travel and £56 on social event expenses. Now, they plan on spending significantly more in both categories, or £153 on traveling and £130 on social events. What’s more, their average planned expenses for food and drinks and clothes have only decreased by one or two pounds, from £156 to £154 and from £86 to £85.

(YouGov)

Brits spent £31.7 billion on groceries in the 12 weeks leading up to 26 December 2021.

Christmas sales statistics reveal that in the month of December alone, the UK take-home grocery sales reached £11.7 billion. Interestingly, just this month, Britons spent £62 million on sweets and another £61 million on Christmas chocolates, which indicate 7% and 20% increases compared to the sales from 2020. On the other hand, sprout sales were down by 3%, but Brits prepared themselves for the heavy Christmas diet by buying indigestion remedies, whose sales increased by 8%. Finally, sparkling and still wine sales were also up by 18% and 22%, and so were crisps by 31%.

(Kantar)

14% of the general British population expects their debt to grow over the festive season.

Christmas spending statistics from a recent survey show that the holiday will take a toll on financially troubled Brits. Namely, 38% of Britons who are having a hard time keeping up with their financial commitments believe that Christmas will increase their debt balances. Moreover, this percentage jumps to 51% for over-indebted Brits, who are at least three months behind on their financial commitments in the last six months. As a result, one in five Brits says they will use some form of credit or borrowing to finance their Christmas spending.

(YouGov)

The average Brit gets into £439 of debt because of Christmas spending.

Christmas debt statistics for the UK also show that it takes up to four months for the average Brit to get their finances back on track after the holiday season. And while 35% of Britons are capable of financing Christmas out of their disposable income, another 39% say they have to dip into their savings to do it. In addition, 17% of Brits use their credit cards, 10% depend on pre-purchase schemes like pay-monthly catalogs, and 9% even dip into overdraft facilities to fund their Christmas celebration.

(Lowel)

37% of Britons believe they will spend more than they should this Christmas.

Christmas spending facts for the UK further reveal that the share of over-indebted Brits who believe they will spend more than they should is significantly higher, at 52%. Additionally, 54% of these financially troubled Brits say they will avoid paying some of their other debt to cover their Christmas expenditures. Nevertheless, more than half, or 52% of these people, still believe they will not be able to afford the Christmas that they want to have, despite delaying paying off their financial commitments. Finally, 53% of financially troubled Brits say they have a hard time enjoying the festive season because they worry that they spend too much.

(YouGov)

FAQs on Christmas Statistics

How much does the average Brit spend at Christmas?

The average Brit spends £1,108 on Christmas-related expenses. Data reveals that Christmas spending in the UK has increased by £225 from 2020, when the average Brit spent £883 during the festive season.

(YouGov)

How many people get into debt at Christmas?

Only 35% of Brits finance their Christmas spending through disposable income. Another 39% dip into their savings, while 17% use credit cards, 10% rely on pre-purchase schemes, and 9% dip into an overdraft facility to fund their Christmas spending.

(Lowel)

What is the average spend per child at Christmas?

The average Christmas spending per child in the UK is £190, though the most common budget for the largest number of parents is £100 per child.

(EADT)

What percentage of people shop online for Christmas?

Most Brits, or 61%, shop both online and in-store, while 31% stick solely to online shopping. However, 75% of Brits who shop both online and in-store say most of their shopping is done online.

(Yodel)

How much does the average family spend on Christmas gifts?

The average total spend on Christmas gifts per household in the UK is £363.

(Bank of England)

The Summary

As these Christmas statistics for the UK reveal, not everyone can afford to have the holiday they want. It is clear, however, that Brits are still not over the cancellation of Christmas in 2020. With many people still making up for it, Christmas spending leans on the excessive side with a large portion of Brits dipping into their savings or credit finances to celebrate.

Sources:

Hristina Nikolovska

Hristina Nikolovska

An internship in a digital marketing agency during her freshman year of university got Tina into SEO. A decade later, she’s utilizing her educational background in English and knack for research to craft website content on anything from marketing and tech to finance and crypto. When she’s not investigating ways to dominate SERPs, you’ll find her randomly roaming cities and sunny coasts all over the world.