The 12 days of organising Christmas
Published 01/12/2012 | 09:44
The typical family Christmas takes 12 days, 14 hours and 13 minutes to organise, research has found.
From shopping for presents, putting up decorations and cooking Christmas dinner, mums and dads spend almost two weeks trying to make December 25 as special as possible.
The study by retailer Wilkinson found that the average British family begins organising and saving money for Christmas in the last week of August. However, one in seven start buying Christmas gifts in the January sales, almost a full 12 months in advance. A third leave it all until just four weeks beforehand.
It found that nine days, 15 hours and 48 minutes is spent researching and shopping for festive gifts. Wrapping those gifts takes three hours and 26 minutes, while two hours and 31 minutes are spent writing Christmas cards.
A total of three hours and six minutes is spent retrieving decorations from the loft and hanging them up around the house, according to the study, which surveyed 2,000 parents across the UK.
Two days, 10 hours and 48 minutes is taken up thinking, planning and shopping for food for Christmas dinner and a further two hours and 34 minutes is spent preparing the festive feast and laying the table.
Steph Chambers, Christmas buyer for the company, said: "A lot of time and effort goes into making Christmas Day the most special of the year, and thanks to our research we are able to pinpoint exactly how much time and effort it takes. So from now on, we won't talk about the 12 days of Christmas but the 12 days, 14 hours and 13 minutes of Christmas.
"All the effort that parents put in shows just how important an event a family Christmas is. It is a great tradition and despite any stresses and strains most of us wouldn't have it any other way. We love Christmas just the way it is."
Oxford is the Christmas shopping capital of the UK, where parents spend the longest time looking for gifts - 11 days, 15 hours and 54 minutes. Meanwhile, Edinburgh is where parents spend the least time buying presents - seven days, one hour and 15 minutes.
Eight out of 10 families have relatives over to stay during the seasonal period. One in 10 spend at least a week getting the house in order before they arrive, but 5% have a quick dust around just an hour or less beforehand.