We can't stop shopping even on Christmas Day
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Manic Monday, and the hell of last-minute Christmas shopping. You'd have thought that by the time we get to the 25th we'd have had enough of shopping, but a new study has revealed that 16% of people will shop on Christmas Day.
The research, from TopCashback.co.uk found that we're so desperate to snap up bargains, that we'll be buying things online on Christmas Day itself - to steal a march on the Boxing Day sales. Apparently 30% of those shopping online will do it as early as possible (even before they have opened their presents), while 22% will sneak off to shop straight after Christmas dinner.
We at least have the decency to be embarrassed about our Christmas Day weakness, so that 43% of people will do their shopping online and in secret.
This isn't a new phenomenon. The website also looked at data from last Christmas. It found that the majority of shoppers on Christmas Day, chose to log on at 8am, but browsing peaked at 10pm once the Christmas dinner food coma set in and Downton Abbey and EastEnders had been watched.
This Christmas Day spending isn't instead of a Boxing Day sales bonanza. The study found that two thirds of people will be shopping then too - spending more than four hours shopping for discounts.
We tell ourselves we're saving money. Some 58% say they have been putting off buying something at full price in order to snap it up in a sale, while 57% say they will be buying cheap birthday presents, 37% will stock up on cheap toiletries, 31% will buy Christmas presents for next year, 37% will buy wrapping paper, 30% stocking filers and 35% Christmas decorations.
Only 28% say they can't go shopping because they spent everything at Christmas
Should we be worried?
On one level this is a horrifying development. Given the incredible sums we have been spending in the run-up to Christmas, there's every chance that well over 28% of people really cannot afford to buy anything in the sales.
There's a risk that we are borrowing, and lying to ourselves, because we cannot resist the idea of getting a bargain. The irony is, of course, that if you borrow to buy in a sale there's a very good chance that paying off interest on the debt will wipe out any savings you make.
Even if we can afford these purchases, there's the concern that consumerism has now completely taken over from everything else this Christmas. All thoughts of focusing on family and friends go out of the window if instead of unwrapping stockings together, everyone is on their smart devices at the crack of dawn hunting for a new TV.
On the other hand, if people really have been postponing their purchases (and putting the money aside for them), then they could be saving substantially. If they have enough cash left to get ahead of the game and stock up for birthdays and next Christmas, then surely this sort of forward planning should be celebrated.
But what do you think? Will you be shopping on Christmas Day? Let us know in the comments.