The Barclays Christmas Present League reveals grandpas lose out to grand-paws

05 December 2018
  • Barclays reveals the family Christmas present league, with eldest children getting the most gifts under the tree and grandparents the least.
  • 32 per cent of people admit to getting carried away buying presents for loved ones, with Brits typically buying 27 gifts and spending an average of £37 per gift.
  • 68 per cent admit to worrying about their finances around the festive period.
  • Barclays Mobile Banking can help customers stay on top of their money and make a memorable Christmas, without breaking the budget.

5th December 2018: New research from Barclays has revealed the British Christmas present run-down, and it’s bad news for grandparents who are set to receive fewer presents than four-legged members of the family.

In fact, family pets can expect four per cent more presents that the nation’s grandfathers this year. Over a third (34 per cent) of pet owners admitted they will splash out on Christmas presents for their furry friends, compared to 11 per cent saying they will be buying for grandparents.

While the youngest child is often accused of being the most spoiled in the family, the research shows that it is in fact the eldest child who can expect to do the best out of Christmas this year.

Not only will they receive more gifts than any other family member, but they will have the most spent on them – an average of £70.13.


Family member

Number of presents

Eldest child


Youngest child


Middle child














Family pet




The average Brit will purchase 27 presents for their family and friends, typically spending £37 per gift.

65 per cent of Brits say they enjoy buying presents for their loved ones but nearly a third (32 per cent) admit to getting carried away at Christmas.

As a result, a huge 68 per cent admit to worrying about their finances around the festive period – unsurprising when research has predicted that Brits will spend £17 billion[1] on presents this Christmas.


Josie Clapham, Managing Director, Community Banking at Barclays said, "Many of us enjoy treating friends and family, but it's important to not get too carried away and put yourself under financial pressure going into the New Year.”

Barclays has found that if everyone were to set a limit of £20 per person they were buying for, they could save themselves £136.95 this year – enough to cover a trip for two to warmer climes[2] to beat the January blues, or for a festive family day out[3].

Josie Clapham, continues
, “There are lots of things you can do to help yourself stay in control of your money simply from your mobile phone, from amending your ATM limits to turning off remote purchases when your gift buying is done. These little tricks can help take away the temptation to spend, without taking away your enjoyment of the festive season."

The research also revealed:

  • Top five worst presents to receive at Christmas: batteries, underwear, socks, a tie and soap
  • Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Brits have returned an unwanted gift
  • 78 per cent of Baby Boomer generation[4] say children today get far more presents than they did when they were young

Top tips on how the Barclays Mobile Banking app can help you manage your money over Christmas:

  1. Set an ATM limit: This way you can just take out the amount you can afford to spend, helping you to stay in control of your money.
  2. Check your calendar of future payments: This will tell you what payments you have coming up, and the predicted amount, helping you to make sure that you keep the money back and don’t end up with any unexpected surprises.
  3. Why not see if you can bring your other bank’s current account into BMB? This way you can view all your finances in one place without the hassle of logging into multiple apps and get a clear view of your money.
  4. Turn “remote purchases” off: Once you’ve done all your shopping, this feature will help you put an end to those ‘spontaneous purchases’ online, in app, by post or telephone with your debit card. But, if you change your mind you can switch it back on with just one touch.
  5. Use Transaction Search’: When you’ve bought something but can't find the receipt, don’t trawl through your statements but use the simple search function in BMB. To make life even easier we’ve got quick search terms which will instantly bring up any payments under £10, or direct debits and standing orders.

To find out more about the Barclays Mobile App, visit: https://www.barclays.co.uk/ways-to-bank/mobile-banking-app/

[1] Calculated by multiplying the average amount a person spends on Christmas presents by the adult population of the UK, as reported by the Office for National Statistics: ons.gov.uk

[2]Return flights to Lisbon in January cost around £55 per person, plus costs. Prices based on flying with EasyJet, Wizz Air or Ryanair, as of December 2018

[3] Tickets for a family of five to go ice skating at Winter Wonderland would cost £72.50 / a family annual membership to the National Trust costs £120

[4] People aged 55+

Notes to Editors

About the research:

Research carried out by OnePoll in November 2018, surveying 2,000 UK adults who celebrate Christmas


About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 80,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website home.barclays