Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year for parents, but it can also be expensive. New research reveals that 35% are worried about how they will afford Christmas presents this year, with parents feeling an increased pressure every year to buy bigger and better presents.
The majority of mums and dads (93%) have concerns about friends and family spending lots of their hard earned money on them, when in fact half would prefer to get nothing at all rather than get loved ones into debt. That’s quite surprising when parents don’t practice what they preach, spending on average £30.16 per present, and with 6% spending over £100 on an average present.
But it seems there might be a simple solution, according to research of 734 parents by iconic bear brand Forever Friends – it should be about sentiment this year, with a pledge of time and thought rather than an expensive gift.
The research shows almost half would much rather receive something small and thoughtful than something big and flashy with no feeling behind it. In fact 38 per cent said they felt embarrassed when they were given an extravagant gift and one in seven have actually been offended by a gift that obviously had no thought behind it. We are all far too polite to say anything though, as over half of us would keep quiet if we got a present we didn’t like.
Instead of a traditional Christmas present, parents ranked the following as the top 10 things they’d like to receive from friends and family:
1. To be taken out for a meal
2. A small but thoughtful token of a friendship/relationship
3. To be cooked a homemade meal
4. A big hug
5. A card which included personal, heart-felt words
6. Something homemade
7. For time to be set aside to catch up over coffee for a good old chat
8. Have someone offer to do the washing up or cleaning (ranked no.10 for non-parents!)
9. To be run a bubble bath to relax in with a good book
10. Have a long catch up reminiscing over old photos
To support the research, Forever Friends has developed a downloadable online pledge to allow people to promise to do something as a gift for family and friends – such as babysit for an evening or make dinner, without the need to splash the cash. To download your free promise pledge visit www.foreverfriends.co.uk or even send to a family member as a hint!
A Bear-y Digital Christmas
Forever Friends has announced the launch of two new digital products for Christmas allowing us to express love, sentiment and friendship with the Forever Friends iBook and Christmas animation.
The Forever Friends iBook ‘When Magic Really Happens’
The Forever Friends storybook is available for the first time on the iPad. The interactive iBook, aimed at increasingly tech-savvy children, can be downloaded from the iTunes store.
The iconic ‘When Magic Really Happens’ Forever Friends book is a heart-warming story of kindness following the little bear on a magical sleigh ride adventure on Christmas Eve. Each page is enhanced with flickering streetlights and gently falling snow alongside soothing narration, charming animations and games.
The iBook is designed to enhance the reader’s experience with key interactive features including, three options of reading; ‘read to me’, ‘read myself’ or ‘record me’ plus 18 mini-games, animated films with secret movie episodes and the ability to create Christmas cards to share. It is recommended for ages 4-10 years and priced at just £2.99.
The Forever Friends Christmas Animation ‘The Magical Fairy Bear’
This 3D animation is a story about a Christmas adventure introducing new characters of Fairy Bear, Santa Bear and Ballerina Bear in a heart-warming bedtime story. This animation is free to all Forever Friends fans and is available to watch via Facebook or YouTube.