Post-Christmas spending report research


  •  86% of Brits go overbudget by an average of 50% on Secret Santa gifts 
  • Half of Brits (50%) are guilty of regifting a Secret Santa gift at least once 
  • A third of Brits (32%) have forgotten to buy a Secret Santa gift or have left it at home on the day 
  • Alcohol, candles and chocolates are the most common gifts (36%, 28% and 20% respectively)

Brits are overspending by 50% on Secret Santa gifts, with over £136 million overspent on presents across the country, according to new research by online money-saving coupon platform CouponBirds1.  

The research, which looked into Brits’ Secret Santa spending habits, showed that despite the average budget being set at £10, nearly nine out of 10 (86%) are overspending on their gifts – on average, people are spending £5 more to get the perfect gift. 

However, Secret Santa gifts aren’t always well received, with half of Brits (50%) admitting to having regifted a present they’ve been given during Secret Santa. Nearly a fifth (19%) have even said they do this regularly. The least popular items to receive during Secret Santa are condoms (24%), sex toys (21%) and any personalised gift with their face on it (21%). 

Even worse than receiving a gift you don’t like is not receiving one at all. In fact, over a third (32%) have said they have either forgotten to buy a Secret Santa gift or to bring it with them on the day it was meant to be gifted. 

Nearly 12 million British adults (36%) have, at least once, unwrapped the timeless classic bottle of alcohol as a Secret Santa gift, which is the most commonly gifted present. Other prevalent gifts include candles (28%), sweets and chocolates (20%), mugs (19%), books (17%), and biscuit tins (17%).  

Top 10 most common Secret Santa gifts by the number who dislike receiving them2 

Top 10 most common Secret Santa gifts 

Number of Brits who have received this gift 

Number of Brits who dislike receiving this gift 


11.9 million 

3.6 million 


9.2 million 

2.6 million 

Sweets and chocolates 

6.6 million 

1.6 million 


6.2 million 

1.3 million 


5.6 million 

2.6 million 

Biscuit tin 

5.6 million 

2.6 million 


4.9 million 

1.6 million 

Hand cream 

3.9 million 

1.9 million 

Gift cards 

3.3 million 

1.6 million 

Advent Calendar 

2.6 million 

2.6 million 


Diana Howard, Financial Analyst at CouponBirds, said: The fact that nearly nine in 10 Brits are overspending on Secret Santa gifts shows how much we value buying things for our colleagues, but with half guilty of regifting it seems like they’re not always well received!” 

“If you’re looking for the perfect Secret Santa gift this year, you should always check CouponBirds to find the best discount codes – it might just help you stay in budget this year.” 

Visit CouponBirds to find out more: 

Featured Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash.

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