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Christmas: a time for family, a time for friends, and, of course, a time for giving. It’s the time of year when we all go a little crazy pushing the boat out: keen to spoil those that we care about and to show our affection through the presents that we give.

It’s not just gifts though: there’s food, there’s travel, and, in a normal year at least, all of those Christmas parties to attend. It is probably around 100 years ago, with a clever marketing campaign by Chanel No.5, that Christmas became truly commercialised. According to Betway Casino, this is something that has just grown and grown.

With the face of Christmas having changed in the 1970s when our obsession with all things tech-related first began, the cost of Christmas has continued to grow.

The true cost of Christmas

In the UK, we spend an average of £512 each on Christmas gifts. That equates to the UK spending a whopping £20 billion over the festive period. The retail industry lives and dies by its success at Christmas, and they do all they can to entice us in and get us spending. It appears that they have been pretty successful at it too: for the last nine years, what we spend in the UK at Christmas has continued to grow.

We’re certainly not the biggest spending country though: those over in the US seem to have an even deeper love affair with the buying of gifts. Over the Pond, our American cousins spend on average £706 each. That means that in the US as a whole, they spend an unbelievable £823 Billion every year, just on Christmas gifts.

Just why do we spend so much?

We spend all year around, of course, but companies have now truly tapped into the Christmas spirit, and have us coming to them in our droves for the festive period. Got a top tech product that you want to release? Wait until just before Christmas to release it and watch your sales soar. Just ask the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo who have all seen amazing successes at Christmas.

It’s not just the release of products so close to Christmas that gets us spending: retailers have other ways of getting us through their doors or onto their websites. Once the reserve of Boxing Day, when we’d all rush to the shops in our hoards, there’s nothing like a good sale to get us all spending more. With the advent of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are more opportunities than ever to pick up a bargain or 2.

The Christmas of 2020

It is probably an understatement to say that this year has been slightly different. Even engulfed in a time of economic uncertainty, we have still continued to spend. The releases of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X show that we are all still happy to splash out on Christmas gifts this year.

The hope will be that by next year the pandemic will be behind us. What’s for certain, though, is that we will see the next technological advances and the next best-selling Christmas gift.