Half of men can’t remember what their partners got them last Christmas

By staff writers
December 6, 2007

New research from international relief and development agency,
World Vision
, has revealed that half of men in the UK (51%) can’t remember what gifts their partners got them last Christmas.

Women weren’t far behind with 43% forgetting what their loved ones bought them.

The aid agency says the findings highlight that the Christmas presents we buy for our partners are simply not memorable.

Over a quarter of Britons (27%) can’t remember what anyone bought them for Christmas last year.

The independent research of more than 1,400 UK adults coincides with the launch of the Alternative Gifts winter catalogue from World Vision which contains gifts such as a mosquito net to help reduce the incidence of malaria in Zambia (£5), or a loo to help improve hygiene and reduce diseases for households in Sanzukwi in Zimbabwe (£34).

World Vision conducted the research to encourage people in the UK to consider buying their loved ones something they won’t forget this year, while each gift from the catalogue will go on to make a life-changing, real difference to real families and communities living with poverty around the world.

Over three quarters of those surveyed (76%) believed that they waste up to £50 on unwanted presents each year. Added together this would mean a massive £2.3 billion in wasted Christmas presents across the nation this festive season.

Of the hundreds of thousands of gifts that are unwanted each year, 39% sit in the cupboard gathering dust and 28% are sold on the internet after the festive season has ended.

The charity suggests that people buy alternative gifts this Christmas which will make a 'real and tangible' difference to someone in a disadvantaged area.

World Vision's 70 original gifts in the catalogue are priced from £5 to £3,389 and directly benefit 34 of World Vision’s community projects across 16 developing countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and South America.

Gifts can be ordered quickly and easily online, says World Vision. When you have chosen your gift, you then can choose from a wide range of specially designed seasonal cards or can tailor a card and add your own message, which will be delivered to the person you have bought it for in the UK. The card will then explain how the gift you have bought for them will change the life of a family, community or child in a developing country.

All of World Vision Alternative Gifts have been requested by communities in the almost 100 developing countries where World Vision works, so every gift is guaranteed to be wanted.

Michaela Strachan, TV presenter, said: “How many people do you know get presents for Christmas that they don't want, don't need or don't like? Well it's a fact that 1 in 4 people can't even remember what they got! So why not buy friends and family a gift to remember this year? I'm helping World Vision launch their alternative gifts catalogue and have already bought half an acre of forest, a bog (yes a bog) and a sponsorship for a child for a year from their winter catalogue. These gifts are truly memorable, not only for the people I've bought them for but also for the communities in developing countries who've asked for them.”

World Vision Alternative Gifts are available online here

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.