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2017 Christmas Shopping Trends

(and Why You Should Always Write a Thank You Note!)

When the first shimmer of tinsel is spotted in shop windows, we immediately make our list and check it multiple times. We wanted to take a closer look at the Christmas mindset of customers and explore their thoughts on gift giving etiquette. Who will spend the most this Christmas in the UK? Do couples feel obliged to exchange presents during their first year of dating? Should your children send thank you notes?


Snapfish surveyed 1,000 people to get a pulse on Christmas spending habits and gift giving etiquette in the UK. Let’s unwrap the results!

What is the average amount spent on Christmas presents?

The study revealed that 48% of British shoppers spend between £101 and £500 on Christmas presents for friends and family. There’s a good chance this group is smart about spending, too, selecting one or two key presents their recipients will adore.

Northern Ireland and Wales are on the nice list

In Northern Ireland and Wales, over 25% of respondents said that they will spend between £501 and £999 on Christmas presents. Shoppers in England and Scotland rein it in more tightly; they are more likely to spend between £101 and £500 this Christmas.

Frugal present spenders

Scots tend to be the most frugal when choosing Christmas presents for their partner. DIY treasures like ornaments, blankets and coasters featuring favourite photos or clever typography fall into this budget-friendly category, and will supply smiles all year long.

To budget or not to budget?

Over 70% of Christmas shoppers said they don’t set a spending budget. They feel the amount spent is inconsequential to finding the perfect present since when a personalised gift like a photo book or canvas print of your granddaughter’s handprints is created, the look of joy on the recipient’s face is beyond priceless.

Can you stick to a list?

Ooh, shiny! It’s easy to get distracted when you’re out shopping for others. But an impressive 42% of shoppers stick to their Christmas shopping list, somehow avoiding all the tempting glitz and glamour of Christmas window displays. Flip through the Snapfish catalogue for some clever present ideas to jump-start that list or check out the Snapfish UK Blog . Cushions for dad’s favourite chair, a snazzy chopping board for the newlyweds, even a framed print for Granny’s mantelpiece - you’ll have everyone covered in no time.

Is it okay to return presents where you live?

A gift receipt is helpful when Aunty Marge mistakes you for a cat person and wraps up the purrrfect jumper for you. Sorry to say that you won’t be needing that receipt anyway as the majority of the UK don’t think it’s acceptable to return a present – we’re too polite! You’ll just have to grin and wear it! Creating presents on Snapfish doesn’t even require a gift receipt - people love personalised presents made just for them!

Who is the bigger spender?

We all know that there is no “right” amount to spend on presents for your loved ones. But if we had to put a price tag on it, the survey results show that women tend to spend more than men on presents for their partner, parents, and friends. You can have a winning present for less than that £25 price tag with just a few clicks on Snapfish! Our ready-made photo book, calendar and even modern photo panel layouts paired with your photos will look fantastic and carry a heaping tablespoon of thoughtfulness to boot.

How much do couples spend during their first Christmas together?

The majority of couples spending their first Christmas together typically spend between £51 and £101 on Christmas presents for each other. Whilst not extravagant, it’s not stingy either (especially if you met on Christmas Eve!). Couples presents at Snapfish can be even cuter than matching pyjamas! Create a photo map with prints of the amazing places you’ve travelled together, scan theatre tickets to include in a photo book, or create custom blankets for optimal snuggle time.

Bring back the thank you note!

To the 25% of people who agree that thank you notes are not outdated—you’re in good company! Being in the business of personalised gifts and cards, we’re big fans of sending thank you notes after receiving gifts. Stay on the nice list for next year and create thoughtful greeting cards or how about creating nifty Thank You cards with fill-in-the-blanks for kids to easily complete their birthday as well as Christmas thank you’s. They (and you) will be grateful for the speed in which they can send heartfelt thanks to their loved ones.

The results of this survey shouldn’t dictate how you allocate your Christmas shopping budget, but it’s interesting to see how the present giving tradition varies by region, gender, and age. The numbers show that budgeting is important to millennial and Gen X shoppers, women tend to be the big spenders, and sometimes you’ll just have to wear that cat sweater when Aunty Marge comes to visit.


Whether you plan to fill your sleigh with custom presents or spend a cosy night in, your Christmas celebrations will be unique and memorable. And if you decide to bring back the art of thank you notes this year, we’ll be cheers-ing you on.


Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Snapfish!


Curious to see how our US cousins feel about gift giving? Check out the Snapfish US results!

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