The UK’s over 50s have on average three grandchildren and are looking to spend £65 on each one of them as the build up to Christmas starts.
“When comparing Christmas past and present, almost 90 per cent of grandparents agree that children expect much more expensive presents than they did when they were children,” said a Saga Money spokesman.
“And a similar number agree that Christmas has become too commercialised, however, this does not mean that they do not enjoy lavishing gifts on their family.
“More than half say they love being able to spend money on their family at Christmas and two thirds say they can afford to spend more on their family now than when they were younger.”
Further evidence of the changing times comes when comparing the amount of presents they got from their own grandparents, explained the company that caters for the over 50s.
A quarter of people in their nineties say that they did not get any presents from their grandparents when they were a child, just one in 10 people in their fifties says the same.
While today’s grandparents typically received one present from their own grandparents, they are looking at giving two or more presents to their younger family members, in fact nearly four in ten say they will be putting three or more gifts under the tree for their lucky grandchildren.
The most generous grandparents live in London and Scotland, spending more than £75 on each grandchild. One in 20 grandparents say they will spend more than £100 on each grandchild.
The spokesman added: “It seems that credit cards hold the key to Christmas for Britain’s over 50s, almost half of their present spending will be done on plastic, perhaps as they continue more than ever to shop online and because of the additional protection they receive when paying by credit card.”
But researchers discovered that it’s not just presents which are paid for on plastic, as a third of Christmas food and drink shopping will be paid for by credit card as will 20 per cent of spending on socialising over the festive season.
Jeff Bromage from Saga Credit Card commented: “Using a credit card makes buying gifts for children much simpler for many people over 50 who are buying more online.
“We see a marked increase in spending in the run up to Christmas, with spend on alcohol doubling, spend on food increasing by 50 per cent and spending in game and toy shops more than doubling.”
Populus, a British Polling Council member, interviewed 9,560 people aged 50 and over online last month.