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60 million unwanted presents will be given this Christmas, charity warns

60 million unwanted presents will be given this Christmas, charity warns

Almost 60 million unwanted Christmas presents will be exchanged this year, according to new research carried out by a charity which is encouraging consumers to make donations to a good cause instead.

The figure is based on a YouGov poll of more than 2,000 people carried out for the charity Send a Cow. The survey results were weighted to be representative of all adults in Great Britain.

Extrapolating from the survey findings, the charity estimates just under 60 million presents worth over £380 million will be exchanged.

The warning comes on 'Giving Tuesday', a day when people are encouraged to give to charity – whether through donations or time – in the wake of Black Friday.

See our 44 Xmas MoneySaving Tips guide for info on cutting costs and reducing waste at Christmas, and our How to do good at Christmas guide for more on charitable gifts.

What did the survey find? 

According to the YouGov poll, 57% of those who celebrate Christmas receive at least one unwanted gift per year – and 48% said they struggle to find presents for family and friends.

The most uncommon unwanted gifts were:

  • Bath products, with 38% saying they were unwanted.
  • Film or box sets, with 18% saying they were unwanted.
  • Candles, with 16% saying they were unwanted.
  • Chocolate, with 16% saying it was unwanted.
  • Socks, with 14% saying they were unwanted.

How to cut down on unwanted Christmas giving

We've long campaigned against tit-for-tat Christmas giving – which, as the survey shows, leaves many with unneeded tat.

Martin shared his thoughts about Christmas giving on the Martin Lewis Money Show earlier this year, along with some tips: