The cost of Christmas feels unavoidable – presents, meals, a new tree. But if you’re hosting Christmas Day, your expenses will be much higher. This might be especially true this year, as families are looking to celebrate and make up for the time lost during lockdown.
Rob Crump, gifting expert from Printster, explains: “Especially after last year’s Christmas was disappointing for so many, as we weren’t able to spend time with our loved ones, it is expected that 2021 is going to be about making up for lost time.”
How much are hosts spending on Christmas?
If you’re the one hosting Christmas dinner, Printster estimates you will spend an average of £876.98 for the big day alone, which includes the cost of Christmas dinner, decorations and presents.
The most expensive part? Presents, which are expected to add up to an average of £530 this year. This is about 30% higher than last year. “Generally, consumers are planning to spend more this year, reflecting how many families will be reunited after a year apart,” Crump explains.
What other expenses can hosts expect?
Food is another significant expense at almost £34 per person. That means that feeding eight people (two full households) will set you back £268 as a host. It doesn’t help that supply chain issues have driven food prices up significantly this year. “Almost everything from potatoes to turkeys are seeing an increase in prices,” Crump notes.
If you’re hosting, you’ll also see a larger expense when it comes to decorations – about £78, according to Prinstster. This includes not just the cost of a Christmas tree but also new decorations or replacing broken or tired decorations.
How can you cut your Christmas Day expenses?
You can still have a great Christmas without spending a ton of money by starting your shopping early and taking advantage of sales. Here are some other ways to make the holidays a little more affordable, especially if you’re hosting.
1. Stay organised and make lists
It might seem obvious, but making lists of everything you need to buy, from food to presents, and sticking to them can help you stay within your means, according to Crump.
2. Try a Secret Santa option
Secret Santa traditions might not be as popular in office settings, but they can work well within an extended family to keep costs down. “Secret Santa gifts for closer relations means less presents to plan for, so you can take time to choose the perfect gift,” Crump says.
If this feels too random, have a chat with the family and agree on a spending limit instead. For example, adults can only spend £10 or £20 on each other. This could end up being a fun challenge for everybody and force them to be creative.
3. Gift experiences and time, not things
A couple with kids would likely appreciate a couple of movie tickets and a voucher for free babysitting a lot more than an expensive object to put on a shelf. Or have a chat about giving a single gift for the entire family, such as a family pass to the zoo or a favourite museum.
4. Share the cost
Potluck dinners can be a lot of fun and they will significantly lighten the financial load. Simply ask guests to bring a dish along – whether it’s a side dish, dessert or snacks. “Spreading the food cost not only means less work for the hosts but also less money spent too, as individual dishes can be made relatively cheaply,” Crump says.
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