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10 Crazy Facts about Christmas Spending

Charmaine Wong, Yahoo!7 Moneyhound Updated December 4, 2012, 9:00 am

Christmas is celebrated by almost all Australians with 92 per cent of Australians expected to celebrate the holiday this year.


McCrindle research has found the holiday will be observed by Australians of varying backgrounds.


Social researcher Mark McCrindle says, “Christmas is unique on the Australian calendar in that it simultaneously gathers families and the broader community in celebration.”


The festive season also means a busy time for Australian shoppers as they spend on gifts, decorations, holidays, food and other holiday trimmings.


Here are the facts on Australian Christmas spending habits:


1. Giving instead of receiving


While receiving gifts can be a highlight at Christmas, it turns out Australians love to give presents too. More than 60 per cent of those surveyed find more joy in giving gifts than receiving them, according to Stockland research.


2. Dodging Christmas shoppers


Despite Australians’ generosity this December, three quarters of Australians are annoyed at over-crowded shopping centers in the lead-up to the big day, says McCrindle Research. This could be due to 45 per cent of Australians admitting to leaving Christmas shopping to the last minute. While the number of shoppers swells in the final few days before Christmas, it can be helpful to purchase your gifts earlier in the month to avoid the crowds.


3. Buying online


As online shopping becomes more popular, it is important to be mindful of the amount of time it will take for presents to be delivered for them to arrive in time. Google has found that December 4 is the date most international online shopping retailers will end their ‘shipping window’. However, buying online from Australian-based stores may still arrive in time for Christmas.


Related: Online shopping up 34% this Christmas


4. Christmas for the whole family


Generous Australians give gifts to the whole family, including our four-legged friends. Stockland has found Australians plan to give one present to their pets this Christmas.


5. Spoiling that special someone


Spending habits differ between men and women when it comes to Christmas gift-giving. Men spend an average of $83 on their partners, while women spend only $59 on their significant others.


6. Christmas is busy for social butterflies


More than half of Australians are expected to go to more than one Christmas meal while one in five is expected to attend more than three, according to Woolworths’ research. With this busy social season approaching fast, it can be useful to create a Christmas budget to control holding spending.


Related: Christmas saving tips, stay in the green and out of the red


7. Shoppers shy away from ‘made in China’


While keeping costs low on items such as food, decorations and presents, may be important for many shoppers this holiday season, Australians are also concerned about where these items come from, found Roy Morgan research.


“Far more Australians say they are ‘less likely to buy’ a product labelled ‘Made in China’ than those that say they are ‘more likely’”, says Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, with this preference found more prevalent when it buying food and wine.


8. Christmas food is still traditional


As Australia enjoys a summer Christmas, foods like prawns, salads, fresh fruit are popular during the festive season. However, the Christmas meal hasn’t lost all of its tradition. Nielsen data shows about 22 million kilograms of ham will be sold around Australia between October and January.


9. Cautious Christmas spending


In response to a stable 3.25 per cent cash rate announced by the Reserve Bank of Australia this month, the Australian National Retailers Association says Australians are still cautious about Christmas spending.


“We know Aussies are already watching every penny with increasing utility costs and keeping the cash rate the same will no doubt return them to a saving over spending mentality,” says CEO Margy Osmond.


Despite the unchanged cash rate, Nielsen has found Australia’s consumer confidence to have risen by eight points, which could indicate a positive period for Australian retailers.


Related: 10 Ways to budget for Christmas


10. Australians spend big on children


Despite concerns surrounding rising utility costs and the price household expenses, Australians are set to spend more than 260 million this Christmas, said a recent Stockland survey. Australians will buy an average of 16 gifts, spending $550 in total on presents, with the average Australian parent planning to spend more than $330 on their children.


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