The most generous parents in the UK - when is it too much?

Where do parents spend more than £400 per child on Christmas. And is it too much?

Santa Claus and presents

A new study has revealed the most and least generous gift buyers in the UK, and while it seems as though children in Glasgow are in for a nice surprise on Christmas morning, those in Liverpool may be less impressed. The question is which parents are getting Christmas 'right'?

See also: Mum has bought her kids 90 Christmas presents EACH

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See also: Christmas gift ideas for kids

The study was completed by, which highlighted Glasgow and Middlesbrough as home to the most generous parents in the UK. Apparently they spend an average of over £400 on each child.

At the other end of the spectrum, cities including Liverpool, Sheffield and Plymouth are home to the some of the biggest cheapskates, each spending within £50-£100 region.

On average parents spend £75 on each child, and you can be sure they have been under pressure from their children to spend far more. The study found that parents are giving way to pester power, and that half of all the presents children receive this year are the must-have gifts for 2016.

Shane Forster, UK Country Manager for Voucherbox comments: "Christmas is a tiring and expensive time of year for parents. More than a quarter of parents have spent more this year on Christmas presents for their kids in comparison to previous years. The most coveted toys of the year can be quite costly, but there are of course still deals to be had online."

The question is when generosity becomes too much.

Emma Tapping, a 36-year-old mum from the Isle of Man spent £1,500 on her children last year - amassing more than 90 presents each. She revealed in a Channel 5 documentary that they took hours to open - and the children even had a break in the middle for a bacon sandwich to give them the energy to open the rest.

Her story inspired a massive reaction on social media. There were some who felt it could lead the children to become demanding and materialistic, and suggested that some of the presents should have been donated to charity instead.

Others were very supportive, suggesting she is free to do whatever she likes with her own money, and that we shouldn't feel the need to judge other parents for wanting to make their children happy.

There were plenty who also highlighted that by savvy shopping, these presents hadn't put a financial strain on the family, and that she hadn't gone into debt as a result of her Christmas shopping.


This is perhaps the crux of the matter. Everyone has a different approach to Christmas - from those who want their children to have one small present and focus on spirituality, to those who want to create a day of limitless generosity and want to spend more. There is no right or wrong approach - as long as you don't feel the need to spend more than you can afford.

The problem is that so many people will be overspending this Christmas, and racking up debts. According to comparethemarket, a fifth of people will put most of their Christmas spending on credit cards this year. Meanwhile, a study by loan company Cashfloat found that 42% of parents went into debt last Christmas. In December, 40% of payday loan applications come from parents, and over 100,000 parents are expected to apply for a payday loan this Christmas.

One of the parents interviewed for the study commented that all the Christmas adverts didn't help, because they: "show children walking into their front room to thousands of presents and they have got all the latest gadgets and toys... It is unrealistic because no one can afford to do that... It's got to the point where children expect this because what they see on TV is what they believe will happen."

But what do you think? Is there such a thing as being too generous at Christmas? Let us know in the comments.

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