‘Stressed’ parents reveal shocking measures they go to for perfect Xmas gift

From breaking into Santa’s grotto, to flying to New York – parents reveal the unbelievable lengths they go to buy the greatest gift of all time.

How far would you go to make your child smile on Christmas Day?

For some it seems the sky is the limit, with British parents admitting to shocking extremes such as stealing from Santa’s grotto, sleeping outside shops waiting for them to open, flying to New York to collect a present and even scrapping with other parents.

Some Brits have even gone without food to save money for those all-important gifts.

It comes after a poll of over 5,000 parents, commissioned by for its latest Parentdex report, revealed Mancunians are spending over a staggering £800 on Christmas every year, with £160 spent on each child.

And it’s no wonder they are feeling anxious, as almost a third of parents in Greater Manchester are relying on credit cards to fund their festive spending.

The report revealed nearly half of UK parents admit they feel pressured to keep up with other mums and dads when finding the perfect present for their kids, with as many as 78% saying competition with other parents in the run-up to the big day causes them ‘stress.’

Others even admitted to appearing on TV to complain about a lack of stock, driving 200 miles to collect a new bike and asking nan and grandad to create home-made replicas of the real thing.

Shakila Hashmi, Head of Money at, said although many parents are getting savvy by creating cheaper gifts, the findings are still concerning.

“It is worrying to hear that some families are making significant sacrifices to make ends meet over the festive season, meaning that some short-term happiness is marred by financial stress which could have a greater impact in the long-term.

“Simple measures such as planning and preparation, coupled with identifying opportunities to reduce spend in the run up to Christmas, can help families to avoid reaching a Christmas cash crunch,” added Shakila.

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