Grandparents set to spend more than £2.6 billion on grandkids this Christmas

25 Nov, 2021

The latest research from over-50s experts SunLife shows that grandparents will spend over £2.6 billion on presents for their grandchildren this Christmas.

With around 5.8 million grandparent households across the UK celebrating Christmas this year, SunLife has revealed that total spend over the festive period will increase by nearly quarter of a billion pounds – and lucky grandchildren can expect to receive £113 worth of presents each.

How much is too much?

As Christmas spending continues to increase year on year, SunLife surveyed over 2,000 parents about their own parents and in-laws – and their views on the gifts that the grandkids receive.

Nearly half (43%) of parents believe that the grandparents spend too much, but a quarter did comment that they can use their money how they like. 11% wish the grandparents wouldn’t spoil the kids, and 7% have concerns they can’t afford it.

However, over half (53%) believe the amount is fine, while 3% even say it’s not enough.

What kids want

SunLife’s research also reveals what the most-wanted presents for Christmas 2021 are – and this year, the older kids are thinking big. Among the top choices for children between 8 and 16 are AirPods, tablets, and smart watches – and brand new for this year are the iPhone 13, e-scooters, and the PlayStation 5.

For those under 8 years old, ambitions weren’t as tech-focused – younger children’s most-requested gifts include story books, animal and Disney figures, crayon sets, and LEGO.

In addition, cash is at the top of older kids’ lists, with 44% preferring it over presents, vouchers, or experiences – and this rises to 57% among teenagers, who would rather choose their own gifts than have someone buy something for them.

The survey also found that a quarter of all kids said they’d received a bad gift from their grandparents at least once, while 14% said it happened fairly often. 1 in 20 say they’ve never received a good gift from the grandparents.

“When you’re a grandparent, you don’t always see grandchildren as much as you’d like, and it can be very hard to know what’s an appropriate gift,” said Ian Atkinson, Chief Marketing Officer at SunLife.

“Perhaps lockdown has made that even more difficult, with less physical time spent with grandchildren than ever before. That’s why every year, SunLife’s Christmas Gift Generator for grandparents is updated with the latest ‘must-haves’, as well as perennial favourites, to help grandparents find the perfect present to go under the tree.”

Find the perfect present

SunLife’s Christmas Gift Generator is a free online tool that makes finding good gifts easier. Just put in the grandchild’s age and interests, as well as your budget, and the handy tool will find the perfect present. And all the results have been voted for by children, the toughest critics of all.

Find the ideal gift for your grandchild now with SunLife’s Christmas Gift Generator.