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Issue:- Saturday Night, 19 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 1.

£931 million; the amount people will spend on grudge gifts

NORTHERNERS will splash out a staggering £931 million on presents this Christmas; for people they 'DON'T' like, it has emerged. Researchers found a whopping 94% of Northerners will shell out an average of £24 a year; on gifts for colleagues, bosses or relatives we aren't particularly fond of. Chocolates emerged as the most likely 'grudge gift', followed by a bottle of wine, bubble bath and a book. It also emerged the average Northerner will buy gifts for 2.6 people (average) they dislike every year. And 13% will hand over a gift fully expecting it to end up in the bin within hours. Furthermore the stats revealed 16% of the population have a stash of goods for people they don't like, having raided stores for '2 for 1' deals and end of line or sales stock.

Yesterday Vix Leyton, spokesperson for cashback and rewards site Quidco, which carried out the research, said:- "There is absolutely nothing worse than being empty handed in the face of a surprise gift from someone you didn't think warranted one back, so you can see how people end up in a cycle of spending money begrudgingly to avoid social awkwardness. The key with Christmas buying, for loved and loathed ones, is to make sure you plan ahead. Take advantage of great deals on multi buy items, but avoid buying something purely for the sake of it and spend for the right reasons. If you have to part with cash, and you know you will, something small and useful absolutely trumps something more showy that is destined to be regifted or sent straight to the charity shop. Cashback is also a good way to claw back some money on unwanted spending, effectively ensuring a welcome little cash gift for yourself post Christmas."

The study also revealed 85% of Northerners are forced to buy presents for people they dislike every year. And 68% said they believed the person in question was aware they weren't in the good books.

A large chunk of the North of England's adults who took part in the study (48%) said they would expect a 'grudge gift' in return of equal value. But 24% said the gift they expected to receive would cost more than the one they themselves bought. It wasn't all bad news though. 55% said the gift they receive from the person they dislike often came in useful. But 17% admitted they would pass the present on next Christmas. 14% said they would take it to a charity shop at the earliest opportunity. The most alarming stat was the fact that 5% said they were going to choose a gift which would make clear their dislike for the recipient in a 'passive aggressive manner.'  Feigning joy is also common at this time of year according to the data, with 76% admitting they would be displaying a fake smile when receiving the present.

Top 10 Recipients of Grudge Gifts:-

1. Colleagues
2. Sister-in-law
3. Brother-in-law
4. Neighbour
5. Mother-in-law
6. Ex
7. Boss
8. Cousin
9. Father-in-law
10. Brother / sister

Top 10 Grudge Gifts:-

1. Chocolates
2. Bottle of wine
3. Bubble bath
4. Books
5. Socks
6. DVD
7. Cheap perfume
8. Scarf
9. Soap
10. CD

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