Christmas’s most popular gifts

Gone are the days when children were happy with a satsuma and a few nuts in their stockings and men and women were lucky if they received a hankie or a pair of socks. Christmas these days is big business, and billions of pounds will be spent this year on buying luxury gifts for young and old alike.

To find out more about the top five gifts for men, women and children, check out the Evolution Money Christmas Infographic. Here you will find a complete run-down of the items likely to make the top of the festive wish-lists this year.

Technological gifts are certainly amongst the most sought-after gifts overall, particularly amongst men and children. Portable gaming consoles, digital watches and remote-operated cars all make the top five for kids, whilst tablet computers, watches and gaming consoles all win a place in the men’s list.

Women, meanwhile, still love a little pampering over the Christmas period, whether that means dressing up for a night out or settling down for half an hour of peace with a good book. Their top five features timeless favourites such as perfume, handbags, clothing, books and jewellery. Men, it seems, also see Christmas as a good time to revamp their sprucing kit, with both aftershave and grooming kits making their top five.

Unsurprisingly, for kids it is fun all the way. Board games complete their top five, along with plush toys such as Frozen Elsa and Anna dolls. Frozen merchandise looks set to be the big winner for Christmas 2014. It is predicted that this will be amongst the best-selling range and little girls, in particular, are desperate to fuel their passion for the latest Disney classic.

There is a huge range of toys on offer this and every year which are supposed to add to the magic of Christmas for youngsters, but this can put huge pressure on parents, particularly those whose budgets do not seem to stretch that far at any time of the year. Yet even babies nowadays receive an incredible number of gifts, especially for a first Christmas that they are never likely to remember.

A Post Office survey revealed that British parents can spend at least £135 million funding their tots’ first Christmases. This equates to a staggering £166 per baby. Younger parents, those in the 18-to-24 age category, are said to be the biggest spenders and seem quite prepared to spend almost £250 on their child. Teddies are the most popular gifts, closely followed by educational and interactive toys and games.

In contrast, however, around a fifth of the parents involved in the Post Office survey revealed that they were quite prepared to take gifts intended for their babies back to the shop and use the money for buying things for themselves instead. They admitted that they had done this in the past and paid for everything from clothes, jewellery and computer equipment to holidays.

A YouGov survey revealed that more than one in three Britons are likely to increase their debt to pay for Christmas gifts. This includes those people who already have existing debt and those who will borrow money purely to pay the expenses of the festive season. This is no real surprise given that an average tablet computer, one of the top requests for this Christmas, can cost around £130, a decent bottle of perfume will set you back between £30 and £50 and gaming consoles can run into several hundreds of pounds. There is also the additional expense of extra food, drink and treats, not to mention decorations, wrapping paper, cards and postage. There is no doubt that the festive season is a time of good profits for retailers, as well as goodwill for all men.

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