The average UK household is planning to spend £796 on Christmas this year, according to an audit of festive figures by ICAS, which has pulled together Noel numbers from a range of sources, meaning total festive spend is providing an essential boost to the economy
The institute says research shows that last year’s intended festive spend totalled £22.5bn, but not all of this represent long term value for money, as the figures also show 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper is thrown away just minutes after present opening begins on 25 December.
This breaks down into an approximate 23 gifts per household, with the average gift costing around £35.
Christmas is good business for tree suppliers, though, with the Forestry Commission reporting sales of six million real trees over the period.
However, Christmas is less beneficial for the waistline, with around 1,450 calories in a turkey dinner, and no mention of the nutritional breakdown for other snacks and drinks on the day.
Some eight million (7.82m, to be precise) of us tuned into the Queen’s speech last year to keep up with a tradition that has been going for decades, but sending traditional messages is in decline, as Britons post an average of just 17 Christmas cards.
As the ICAS audit shows, the hardest working person at Christmas is Santa himself, who needs to visit an average of 822 houses per second in his world tour if he is to deliver presents on time.
Expectations of spending over Christmas do not end on 25 December either with online sales expected to break records on the big day.
For those of a more controlled nature, 24,000 taxpayers even settled down to complete their online self assessment form between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day last year.
On a slightly more ‘bah humbug’ note, ICAS notes a YouGov poll which found that 77% of respondents thought that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost, compared to under 20% who feel all is as it should be.
The ICAS festive infographic is here
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