Breaking the Christmas budget: do you spoil your grandkids?
December is a time for festivities and merriment, Christmas decorations,
puddings, tinsel and, of course, giving - and new research suggests that Brits
are anything but Scrooges when it comes to the festive season. A recent
survey of 135 UK-based women conducted by online retailer isme.com,
among them mothers and grandmothers, has shown that more than three-
quarters of those surveyed believe that children are spoiled with gifts on 25
But are Britain’s children really being spoilt? And are parents and
grandparents stretching their budgets to accommodate all the most
popular ‘batteries not included’ toys this year? The survey seems to indicate
that we Brits are aware of the indulgence of the season, but treat the urge to
splurge with a certain amount of caution and restraint, with only 2 out of 10
women stating that they plan to spend over £500 on gifts for the whole family
However, when the question was refined to ask ‘How much would you be
willing to spend on toys for the kids?’ more than a third of those surveyed felt
that up to £50 was the right kind of budget. To put this response in context,
when asked how much money was appropriate to spend on a gift for a
partner, the budget increased, with almost 1 in 3 putting themselves in the
£50 to £100 range.
Let’s make a distinction here between spoiling the children by getting them
a lovely, much desired present, and spoiling them by indulging them to the
point of letting them run roughshod over their elders. Whilst the former may
occur, the latter, returning again to the survey, is not likely. Parents and
grandparents are setting excellent standards of Christmas etiquette in terms
of gift giving and receiving. Almost 9 in 10 of those surveyed said that they
would never get a deliberately awful gift for someone they didn’t like, and four-
fifths admitted to telling that most acceptable of white lies - pretending that a
disappointing present was perfect.
So, with all that in mind, it seems the best course of action is to let
our children or grandchildren enjoy that all-singing-all-dancing toy or gadget
they’ve been longing for, within reason - but to make sure they write a thank-
you note afterwards!!