Brits waste over £177 million a year on Secret Santa but Londoners have been found to spend above the UK average on presents over the festive season.
According to a new survey of 1000 people across the UK by children’s charity Dreams Come True , 64% of Brits who have participated in Secret Santa do not keep the gifts they receive.
This adds up to a staggering £177 million being thrown away, which could be used to provide the power of a dream and precious memories to a child, and their family, with serious and life-limiting conditions.
In addition, more than a third of us feel embarrassed when we give our Secret Santa gifts. This is not exactly the feeling of Christmas cheer.
In London it was found that 20% of Londoners have given a Secret Santa present they received to charity, with 14% admitted they have given a Secret Santa to a friend as a gift.
Londoners were found to spend an average of £14.18 on a gift, compared to £12.29 nationally.
According to the charity, just 0.03% of the money wasted in Britain could make 25 dreams come true this Christmas for children with serious and life-limiting conditions
Children’s charity Dreams Come True asks Secret Santa participants to replace those throw-away gifts by giving a £5 Secret Santa donation certificate from Dreams Come True instead.
Nicole, who is living with quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and limited mobility, is one of the 25 Christmas dreams on the waiting list. She dreams of having sensory equipment to play with at home.
Her mum says, “In hospital Nicole was able to play with sensory equipment that she doesn't have at home. Nicole was both excited and stimulated by the toys and it would be amazing to have some in her bedroom.”
Peter Newman, chief executive, Dreams Come True said, “The results of this research show that Secret Santa can be a waste of time for both those buying and receiving; I know I have received some unusual ones in the past!
“By buying a £5 donation certificate as a gift, people will be helping us to reach our Christmas appeal target and enable us to make real differences to children and their families by providing the power of a dream and allowing them to spend precious, quality time together.”