Christmas gifts: Do you splash your cash or prefer more humble presents?

We asked Suffolk and Essex parents for their Christmas budgets Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

We asked Suffolk and Essex parents for their Christmas budgets Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Christmas present buying can see parents fork out more than half of their monthly salaries in December – but how does your budget compare with others in Suffolk and Essex?

We asked families how much they typically spend on gifts ahead of the big day.

The average amount spent by parents at Christmas, of 100 respondents, was £190. The most common budget per child was £100.

Nationally, according to a Nationwide Building Society poll of 2,000 people around the UK, the average total spend on Christmas gifts per household was £363.

Children receive an average of £67 each nationwide, the poll suggests.


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The highest amount spent on our list was £2,000 - while the smallest was £25.

Amounts varied according to age, with those under the age of 10 having less spent on them, due to gifts being more simplistic, but still treasured.

How much do you spend on your children at Christmas time? Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

How much do you spend on your children at Christmas time? Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Teenagers typically had £150+ spent on them, while babies and smaller children had significantly smaller budgets.

Some grandparents revealed they still fork out hundreds of pounds for their adult children - with some aged over 40.

'We value time over material presents'

Dozens of people from across Suffolk and Essex shared their reasons for not spending as much on gifts - preferring cheaper, but more cherished gifts such as homemade presents.

University student Poppy Adams, from Rendlesham, is a single mum to Lucas, seven.

This year, the 28-year-old asked her son what he would like for Christmas - and was touched when he said he would rather have her at home than recieve lots of gifts.

"We spoke before Christmas about presents, along with work and money," she said.

"I work at a hotel, and get paid for the shifts that I do.

"I gave him options about childcare while I worked over the school holidays - but we came to the conclusion that he wanted me to be home the six days I would have been working over the two weeks, instead of having any presents this year.

"As a single mum, me and him are a unit, and we value time over any material presents.

She added: "Lucas isn't very materialistic anyway, but I was quite touched because there was no second thought, he just immediately said 'I want more time at home' instead. He'll still get his presents from Santa."

Other families prefer to give their children a small selection of presents.

Lucas, seven, pictured outside Ipswich Town Hall Picture: POPPY ADAMS

Lucas, seven, pictured outside Ipswich Town Hall Picture: POPPY ADAMS - Credit: POPPY ADAMS

Tania Sartori, from Manningtree, said: "Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. And a game."

Approaches to budgeting also vary, with Kate Harris, from Clacton, buying throughout the year - making the most of offers and sales.

"I also put money in a pot to use at Christmas - any loose change, notes etc. It all adds up," she said.

Some parents of younger children said they preferred to put money in a savings account - while buying them smaller gifts.

- For more tips on how to save money at Christmas, visit Martin Lewis' website MoneySavingExpert.

Poppy Adams and her son Lucas, who said he did not want Christmas presents in exchange for having hi

Poppy Adams and her son Lucas, who said he did not want Christmas presents in exchange for having his mum at home Picture: POPPY ADAMS - Credit: POPPY ADAMS

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