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Where in the UK spends the most time preparing for Christmas?

Whether it’s shopping for gifts, deciding what to wear to light up one of the many parties in the festive calendar, or decking the halls in time for the visit
of family and friends, ‘tis the season to be prepared! Our study reveals that when it comes to the countdown to C-Day, us Brits are a nation of planners,
but even with the best laid plans, sometimes we forget a few key festive essentials here and there. Discover which regions spend the longest preparing
for the festive season and which key items are most often slip our minds.



1 in 8 buy their first gift by 1st September

For most of us, summer is a time to take advantage of the late
evening light, to wear shorts in 18°C degree weather and, if we’re
lucky, spend a few days relaxing on a beach somewhere. For others,
it’s just another season in the year-long Christmas present buying
operation; in fact, 1 in 8 of us will have our first Christmas present
before summer is over.


1/3 of Brits will have their tree and decorations up by 1st December

Festive fever and a determination to get as much value for money out
of our decorations as possible means that a third of us will have our
decorations up before the first door of the Advent calendar is ripped
open on 1st December.

The earliest signs of tinselitis are most keenly felt in the capital; 15%
of Londoners surveyed will have their decorations up by the 4th week
of November which is a sure sign that the famous Oxford Street
Christmas lights – which are normally switched on early the same
month – have become contagious.



Just over eight hours is spent shopping and wrapping

Obviously it’s always the thought that counts, but it clearly doesn’t do
any harm to put in the equivalent of a full working day into organising
gifts for friends and relatives to make sure that everyone has the
perfect present come Christmas morn. Even with a move towards
online shopping, buying and wrapping presents is typically the single
most time consuming of all our Christmas tasks.


A fifth of people will settle down to wrap some
presents – only to find they’ve forgotten to buy the
wrapping paper

The chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost is nipping at
your nose, the wine is mulling, the presents are bought and all that’s
left is to wrap them. Easier said than done! 1 in 5 Brits will forget to
buy wrapping paper this year, meaning that just behind batteries,
wrapping paper is the most commonly forgotten Christmas item.

Getting Ready


The average Brit will spend the equivalent of two full
days getting ready for Christmas Day, a study has

Do you wish it could be Christmas every day? Well, if you do, please
bear in mind that on average we spend two full days preparing for it,
so at the very most it seems that Christmas could only possibly take
place once every three days.


77% admit to making an effort to be more prepared
around Christmas

Over a month before our New Year’s resolutions, 77% of us will
commit to making an extra effort to be more prepared around
Christmas time. Maybe it’s the festive season bringing out the best in
us, or perhaps it’s knowing that our family and entire extended family
are coming over for dinner.


3 hours and 23 minutes is taken up with deciding
what to wear to Christmas parties

To make sure that you don’t spend a whole evening wearing the exact
same outfit as a friend or colleague, it’s worth spending the time
planning your outfits for Christmas parties, right? It seems you’re not
alone as us Brits spend an average of almost 3 and a half hours
deciding what to wear for social events during the festive season.


Shopping for gifts and food, decorating the home and
even deciding what to wear to festive parties will see
a total of 49 hours taken up preparing for the big day.

Whether you choose to spread out your 49 hours of preparation
evenly throughout the year or cram them all in between the 23rd and
25th of December, if you celebrate Christmas you’ll have plenty to
keep you busy during the festive season. After all, Christmas magic
doesn’t grow on trees – neither do baubles – but putting in the time
preparing with friends and family can be part of the fun of The Most
Wonderful Time of the Year!

Christmas Dinner


Five hours and 36 minutes is spent getting ready for
the Christmas dinner

Between dashing round the supermarkets to buy ingredients and the
time spent chopping, roasting, boiling, throwing it away and starting
again, Brits spend an average of 5 hours and 36 minutes preparing
their Christmas dinner. This figure doesn’t include the time spent
actually eating the meal they’ve worked so hard to get the table.

People in Scotland appear to be the most time-efficient with this
element of their festive planning, over half will spend 3 hours or less
on their Christmas dinner.


1 in 20 people have forgotten to put their turkey in
the oven on Christmas morning at least once

To avoid the pre-Christmas chaos in supermarket aisles, 4 in 10 are organised enough to order their turkeys in advance of the big day. However, for a select few, getting the turkey home before the shops close on Christmas Eve is only half the battle; 1 in 20 Brits surveyed admitted to having forgotten to put their turkey in the oven in Christmas morning at least once.

Forgetful Few


31% will forget to send Christmas cards

Even though we spend an average of 4 hours writing and sending Christmas cards each year, almost a third of us will forget to send a card to at least one person on our Christmas card list.


2 in 5 won’t remember to pick up batteries to power
new toys

I’ve got the power! The excitement of a new toy, gadget or even a
new kitchen appliance is matched only by the crushing
disappointment in realising that the person who so thoughtfully took
the time to buy you a Christmas present also thoughtfully forgot to
check whether it came with batteries.


2 in 5 people have had to hunt around to find an
open shop on Christmas Day after forgetting some
vital element

Picture the Christmas scene: it’s midday, your guests have already got
to the bottom of your Christmas wine supplies and you’ve just
realised that on the one day a year that you are allowed to eat Brussel
sprouts and cranberry sauce, you’ve forgotten to buy them both! Be it
for food, drink or even tin foil and batteries, 40% of Brits know the
feeling of desperately having to track down an open shop on
December 25th to buy a Christmas essential.

Perhaps this is the ultimate test of Christmas preparation, in which
case, The East Midlands passes with flying colours as the region
where only 2 in 10 have had to hunt down last-minute Christmas

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