Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Grandparents set to spend £140 per grandchild this Christmas

Grandparents set to spend £140 per grandchild this Christmas
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The cost per child is up £14 on 2022 and with grandparents having an average of four grandchildren each, that’s a total spend of more than £560.

The figures have been calculated by over 50s specialist SunLife who worked out that a total of £4.3bn will be spent by grandparents on grandchildren this Christmas, this is up from £3.8bn in 2022.

Grandparents in London are the most generous, spending more than £200 on each grandchild – twice as much as grandparents in East Anglia.

But many are getting it wrong, with half of grandkids saying they’ve received bad presents from their grandparents including a tissue box cover, a jar of pickles and a tongue scraper. More than half (52%) of the ‘bad’ presents were clothes, including Christmas jumpers, socks, school uniform and kit for the wrong team.

While grandparents may love spoiling their grandchildren at Christmas, many parents don’t feel the same. SunLife asked 2,000 parents with children under 16 and almost half (47%) think their parents and in-laws are spending too much.

However, most (51%) of the parents SunLife surveyed think the amount their parents and in-laws spend on Christmas gifts for the kids is about right, while one in 50 (2%) think they should be spending more.

What do kids really want?

To help grandparents ensure their generosity is appreciated, SunLife asked kids what they really want. The top choice for children aged between eight and 16 was cash, with almost half (47%) preferring it over presents, vouchers, or experiences. This rises to 61% among teenagers, who would rather choose their own gifts than have someone buy something for them.

However, 19% of kids like surprise gifts while 17% like to receive gifts from their Christmas ‘list’.

SunLife found the most wanted gifts this Christmas were an indoor trampoline for under-3s, a story book for three to eight-year-olds, Lego minifigures for eight to 12-year-olds, and Airpods for 13 to 16-year-olds.

Related: How grandparents can save and invest for their grandchildren