November 25, 2015

Mums spend an average of €254 per child this Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and with just over four weeks to go,, Ireland’s biggest online community of mums reveals new research highlighting the Christmas shopping habits of mums in Ireland.

The in-depth study examines where and when mums do their Christmas shopping. Most surprising of all, the research reveals that 84% of mums in Ireland still prefer to buy their Christmas gifts in-store rather than online, this is a stark contrast to our UK counterparts where 72% of mums prefer to shop online.

When it comes to spending, two-thirds of mums set a budget for their Christmas gifts, helping parents to keep track of the average spend of €254 spent per child at Christmas time.

Interestingly, MummyPages mum research also identifies the most popular toy categories by age group. The ‘Digital & Gaming Device’ category ranked first place in three age groups: 8-12yrs, 13-16yrs, and 17yrs+, while it ranked third place for children aged 4-7yrs with one-fifth of mums buying a digital device for their child in this age group. This rising trend of digital media consumption by children is worrying for parents, with one in four mums already struggling to balance their children’s screen time versus outdoor activities.


WHERE: When it comes to deciding where to shop, only 14% of mums in Ireland choose to shop online with the majority (84%) opting to shop in-store, whereas insights from our community revealed that 72% of mums prefer to shop online.

HOW: When buying Christmas presents 93% of mums buy one main present and a number of smaller presents, 2% buy one main present and 5% of mums buy a number of smaller presents.

CHRISTMAS SPEND: MummyPages mum insights reveal that 28% of mums lie to their partner about how much money they’ve spent on their children’s gifts. While 27% of mums admit arguing with their
partner about how much money to spend on the children’s presents. To help keep track of family finances over the festive season, 64% of parents in Ireland set a Christmas budget.

COSTS: According to MummyPages research, the average spend per child on Christmas presents is €254. In Ireland, 21% of mums admit spending €100 or less per child, 39% spend between €101-200, 24% spend €201-300 and 16% of parents spend a whopping €300-600 per child.

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING RULES: When it comes to deciding on what to buy children for Christmas, one in five (20%) of mums admit disagreeing with their partner on the type of presents to buy their children. Interestingly, over half of mums surveyed (53%) try to buy a mix of presents that consist of something practical, educational, fun which follows the golden rule of buying – “Something they need, something they want, something they wear and something they can read.” Worryingly, only 10% of mums try to make sure all gifts are age appropriate.

MOST POPULAR TOY CATEGORIES BY AGE GROUP: As part of MummyPages Christmas Shopping Habits research, the online parenting community asked mums what they intended to buy their children as their main Christmas present this year. Sadly traditional toys categories including Books, Board Games and Crafts ranked low on the scoreboard in all age brackets.
The most popular categories are: General toys and games that are linked to television and movie characters, in addition to Sports related gifts and Digital device / Gaming gifts.

INCREASE IN SCREEN TIME: MummyPages research also looked at the length of time children spend in front of screens which according to 30% of mums surveyed is becoming a major concern. MummyPages asked mums to estimate how much screen time their children will consume per day over the festive season and the results are astonishing. This Christmas the MummyPages mum estimate:

– 41% estimate their children will spend two hours or less in front of a screen
– 44% will spend between two to four hours in front of a screen
– 15% will spend a shocking four to eight hours in front of a screen

Worryingly, one in four mums (24%) will struggle to maintain a balance with the amount of time children spend in front a screen time compared to time spent outdoors. A third of mums surveyed feel guilty about how much time their child spends sitting in front of a screen.

Commenting on the research is Laura Haugh, Mum-in-Residence for, Ireland’s biggest online parenting community said:

“Christmas is a costly time of year with families spending an average of €254 per child. Savvy parents can reduce this amount of money by taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday special offers which have already started in many retail outlets, in addition to buying some gifts second-hand. Of course, managing your child’s gift expectations is the key to not putting yourself under immense financial pressure. Children remember experiences more than the toys they receive at Christmas, so plan some fun days out with the family over the festive period and spent time together enjoying one another.”

“When it comes to buying gifts for young children less is more, one main present and a couple of smaller presents is plenty. Christmas morning can be an overwhelming time for children with all
of the presents they receive from Santa, parents and relatives. Sometimes putting some away and reintroducing them slowly over the Christmas holidays can be a good idea for children who get so much that they don’t know what to play with!”

“Our Christmas Shopping Habits research highlights one particularly concerning fact that only 10% of mums check to make sure gifts are age appropriate for their children. MummyPages urges mums to be more cautious as certain toys may pose as a possible choking hazard to smaller children. Also, for parents with older children, video games today are very graphic and may contain content unsuitable for children under 18yrs of age.”

“Our research highlights the rise in popularity of ‘Digital & Gaming Devices’ and how much time children and teenagers are spending in front of screens. Ireland is currently experiencing an obesity epidemic, and according to recent research, we are on track to become the fattest nation in Europe. It is therefore especially important for mums to manage their children’s screen time by establishing some ground rules in the home and by ensuring children are involved in physical activities.”

“Although it can be harder to entertain children in winter time, we would urge mums to try other activities such as crafts, swimming and even baking to keep children entertained. The site is a great source of inspiration with lots of activity ideas for young and old children alike to keep them busy and having fun during the festive season.”