The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) forecasts $59 billion will be spent leading up to Christmas this year, backed by Afterpay's research revealing 58% of Aussies plan to get their Christmas shopping done in November to avoid the last-minute rush.

But of the 1,770 Aussies surveyed, 33% said they were still unsure what to buy their loved ones this year.

According to Afterpay's research, gift cards topped the list with 84% of respondents saying that's what they really want this festive season.

Additionally, 72% want personalised/handmade items; 67% want sustainable items; 66% want fashion/clothes; and 62% want tickets to live events this holiday season.

Sabina Read, Psychologist and Social Commentator, said many Aussies are looking for ways to re-establish control after COVID-19 controlling much of our lives.

"While there is still a degree of uncertainty around how the future will look, gift cards are a flexible option to show someone you care, whilst also giving them the freedom to decide how and when they can treat themselves," Ms Read said.

At the bottom of the list was a candle, with 52% of respondents saying this would be their least desired Christmas gift. 

Young people excited and ready to spend this Christmas

According to Afterpay's research, young Aussies are the most excited about Christmas and are set to spend big.

More than a third (34%) plan to spend more than last year, and more than half (57%) plan to treat themselves.

But budgeting is still front-of-mind, with 54% planning to shop the Cyber Weekend sales and 78% more likely to shop where there are sales, discounts, and shopping events.

This is backed by research from Citi, which revealed 30% of people place higher importance on sales due to impacts of the pandemic.

Almost two in five (38%) say spending money on gifts is the most stressful part of Christmas, and half (49%) usually go over budget when shopping for Christmas gifts. 

Afterpay's tips to avoid blowing the Christmas budget

Afterpay provided its top five tips for Christmas shopping this year:

  1. Know who and what you're buying before you head to the shops
  2. Set a budget and track your spending
  3. Research online before purchasing anything
  4. Shop well in advance to avoid impulse buying and overspending
  5. Shop by yourself or online shop to keep track of your purchases

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      Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

      All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of December 11, 2023. View disclaimer.

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