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What not to have under the Christmas tree this year

What not to leave under the tree this Christmas – Popular gifts see 15% price hike, while our Christmas dinner will cost us 9% more this year

The latest research by finance experts, RIFT, has revealed what not to ask Santa for this Christmas, as some popular gift ideas have climbed in price by as much as 15% compared to last Christmas, while their research also shows that the cost of a Christmas dinner has climbed by 9% since last year.

RIFT analysed data from the Office for National Statistics, looking at the current cost of 101 popular Christmas gifts and how their cost has changed since last Christmas, to reveal which items are best left off the Christmas wish list for this year. RIFT also looked at the cost of the traditional Christmas dinner and which items we could ditch from our plate in order to cut back on costs this Christmas.

What not to leave under the tree this Christmas
The research shows that clothing items are best avoided this Christmas, accounting for the top 10 largest increases in price.

Everything from Girl’s trousers, kid’s jumpers and trainers, women’s cardigans, girl’s leggings, men’s jackets, boy’s t-shirts, kid’s pyjamas and baby grows have seen increases of between 10% and 22% in price.

Large chocolate bars have also seen a price hike of 10% since last Christmas, as have golf balls. Best selling books are up by 9%, while theatre tickets, mascara and silver earrings have climbed by 8%.

Other popular gifts in the list include power drills (+7%), deodorants (+7%), adult craft hobby kits (+6%), houseplants (+6%), fashion necklaces (+5%), men’s ties (+5%), cream liqueurs such as Baileys (+5%), children’s sit and ride toys (+4%), men’s watches (+4%), socks (+4%) and jigsaws (+4%).

Those all important AA batteries will also cost you 8% more when compared to last Christmas, although another Christmas essential, wrapping paper, has only seen a 1% price hike.

Cost of a Christmas dinner up 9%
But it’s not just the gifts under our tree that will cost us more this year, the traditional Christmas dinner has also climbed in price.

RIFT analysed the cost of the traditional Christmas dinner, for an average of four people, consisting of turkey, roast spud, carrots, brussel sprouts, parsnips stuffing and Christmas pudding.

The research shows that in total, a Christmas dinner will set us back £25.61 this year. That’s an increase of 9% or £2.02 when compared to last Christmas.

Both the cost of parsnips and a turkey have climbed by 10% annually, although this equates to an increase of just six pence for parsnips, while a turkey will cost us £1.45 more this year.

Alternatively, a beef roasting joint has increased by 8% since last Christmas and while it still costs an average of £12.68, it makes it a potential attractive alternative for those who may want to ditch the turkey from the table while looking to cut their Christmas costs.

Potatoes (+9%), carrots (+8%), Christmas pud (+7%), stuffing (+6%) and sprouts (+2%) are also more expensive this Christmas compared to last – adding an extra £0.52p to the cost of our Christmas dinner.

What’s more, beer (+10.9%) champagne (+9.5%) and wine (+8%) have also seen a substantial increase in cost when compared to last Christmas – with a crate of beer now costing £1.27 more, a bottle of wine costing £0.58p more and a bottle of champagne seeing an increase of £2.92.

Bradley Post, MD of RIFT, commented:

“The high cost of living continues to linger like the proverbial lump of coal at Christmas and, unfortunately, we’re facing yet another festive season of higher costs both when it comes to the gifts we place under the tree and the items we place on the table.

While this increased cost may only amount to a few pence on some items, it all adds up when you consider the increased spend that comes at this time of year and many shoppers probably won’t notice the difference until they get to the checkout.

For those worried about how they are going to make ends meet, a strategic shopping list could help.

It may be that some sought after gifts are better left until next year, or you could look to cut costs by opting to break with the traditional turkey and opt for beef instead.”

Data and sources
Price point and change for 101 popular Christmas gifts, Christmas essentials and alcohol sourced from the Office for National Statistics – Inflation and price indices.

Christmas dinner price points sourced from Supermarket Wizard, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda, Aldi and the BBC with annual changes also based on previous data collected by RIFT in 2022.