Parents say Christmas expectations have got out of control and majority are concerned about affording presents for their children this year

3 in 4 parents (74%) say that children should be happy with whatever gift they get this year, says new Ipsos polling for Christmas.

The author(s)
  • Trinh Tu Managing Director, Public Affairs
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A new poll by Ipsos, finds that three quarters (73%) of parents think that the expectations on how much to spend on children’s Christmas presents has got out of control, with a similar proportion (74%) saying that children should be happy with whatever they get. Even so, more than half (54%) of parents feel pressured to get their children the latest toys, gadgets and clothes at Christmas. 

Almost half (46%) of parents say they are concerned about their child(ren) being disappointed by the presents they give them. 44% are further concerned about their child(ren) comparing their gifts with those received by friends, with 40% concerned about how they will explain to their child(ren) why Father Christmas didn’t bring them anything they asked for.



Six in 10 (62%) parents are concerned about their ability to afford Christmas presents for their children this year and 40% of parents interviewed said they would be buying at least one of their children’s presents on credit, because they wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise.





Trinh Tu, Managing Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos, says:



Christmas, a festive season of family, food, and gifts, can also strain many households financially. Our poll highlights parents' worry about meeting children's expectations, with over half expressing this concern and 62% unsure about affording the gift expenses. Despite concerns about excessive spending, 40% are willing to use credit to fulfil their children's wishes, indicating prevalent worry about disappointing their children on Christmas day.

Technical note

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,027 GB adults aged 18-75. Interviews were conducted online from 13-17 October 2023.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.

The author(s)
  • Trinh Tu Managing Director, Public Affairs

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