‘Tis the season of excess: two-thirds of parents think their kids are spoiled at Christmas

christmas present spoilt

A survey of over 1,745 Mumsnet users has revealed how much they spend on their children at Christmas and whether they believe they are spoiled

Over two-thirds (67%) say they spoil their children – and the same amount say their children are spoiled by their grandparents too.

For parents, the average spend on Christmas presents is £167.10 per child – with £128.20 on average being spent on under-ones, while 14 to 17-year-olds get £216.90.

  • 6% spend between £30 and £49
  • 20% spend between £100 and £149
  • 28% spend between £150 and £249
  • 2% spend between £500 and £749

Despite admitting they go over the top, parents are succumbing to additional seasonal spending demands, with more than one in five (22%) saying they give a Christmas Eve box containing things like pyjamas, DVDs and hot chocolate every year – although 36% agree it's “one more darned thing to spend money on.”

Elf on the Shelf – an elf-like toy who sits in different perches around the house, from which it 'reports back' to Santa on children's behaviour – has yet to take off in the same way, with only 9% saying they have one every year. A third of parents (33%) say they think the elf is “a creepy surveillance operative.”

Mumsnet Founder and CEO Justine Roberts said: “Lots of parents love to indulge their children at Christmas, but boring old things like cash flow and paying the mortgage tend to get in the way. If you can't afford the dinosaur-themed Fingerling (this year's top toy, apparently), then don't despair; the Mumsnet wisdom is that it's the things you do together that your children will remember most in years to come.”