Slideshows | November 28, 2016

Will you get what you want this Christmas?

ING International Survey explores feelings and finances behind the tinsel and trimmings.

Electronics, cars, money and jewellery – that’s what people are most likely to want for Christmas 2016, according to ING’s annual festive report.

The ING International Survey special report – Christmas 2016 asked 13,576 people in Europe, the USA and Australia about festive finances and gift-giving. Two in five (40%) across Europe agree Christmas is the one time of year they allow themselves to spend, regardless of their financial situation.

But we find that although most people manage their Christmas budgets well, one in 10 say they fell into debt after paying for 2015’s festivities. The survey also finds that some (42%) can feel forced to spend money at Christmas, with 70% in Europe agreeing the annual festival has become too focused on spending.

Presents of mind?
A proportion of this spending is wasted. One in seven (15%) in Europe say they received at least one gift they did not want, appreciate or could not use. Another eight percent say they cannot remember, just 10 months later, how they felt about their presents.

We find that the least popular gifts in 2015 were perfume, cosmetics, ornaments and clothing. It might be best to stay away from these choices this Christmas. About half of those who receive these unwanted presents may keep them anyway – but this is a reflection, perhaps, of the cultural meaning of Christmas gift-giving for both giver and receiver.

There are differences between the 14 countries surveyed – read the full report.

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Personal touch The Czech Republic has the highest shares who chose to give practical presents (70%) or leisure items (44%) in 2015.


Big sky thinking More people (22%) in the USA went into debt due to Christmas 2015, just ahead of Romania (19%).


Cut me loose Romanians are the most likely (61%) to say Christmas is the one time of year they allow themselves not to worry about money.


Feeling obliged In Spain, higher shares agree Christmas is too much about money (83%) or that they feel forced to spend money (57%).


Managing up In terms of debt, Luxembourg had the smallest share (3%) who got into financial trouble after Christmas 2015.


Your choice? Money was most often given as a Christmas present in Austria, where 32% received money from friends or family in 2015.


Beyond budgets Poland has the lowest share (53%) who agree with the statement that Christmas is too focused on spending money.

This article is related to the ING International Survey:

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016

November 28, 2016

Feeling festive at Christmas typically packs a punch to the wallet; across Europe 10% of people even went into debt during the season in 2015. In the 2016 survey, ING asked 13,576 people across Europe, the USA and...


eZonomics team
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