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Christmas Prep Time:

Brits Edition

3 Nov 2021

Just how long do we as a nation spend getting ready for Christmas?

There’s a vague scent of pine in the air, our cravings for mince pies have begun, and if you listen very carefully, you’ll hear bells jingling in the distance… Yep, Christmas is coming.

As we start to think about preparations for the big day, we wanted to find out just how long it takes the nation as a whole to get ready for the festivities. We considered everything from shopping for Christmas gifts and wrapping to writing Christmas cards, decorating the house, cooking dinner and more.

Apparently it takes Brits over 30 hours to prepare for Christmas each year - as a whole, we’ll be spending almost 2.1 BILLION hours on prep! Now we know why our mums were so stressed...

So, How Does It Vary Across the UK?

Regions in the UK spend the most time preparing for Christmas

Bottom 3 cities

As you can see, Greater London spends the most time preparing for Christmas at over 40 hours, followed by Wales with 37 hours, and the North East with 34.

Spending the least amount of time on prep are our friends in Northern Ireland - who, to be fair, are still spending a full 24 hours on it - followed by the South West with 25 hours 45 minutes and the East Midlands with 26 hours. Should be getting paid overtime for this if you ask us.

What’s Taking Us The Most Time?

From finding the perfect tree to preparing the perfect Christmas dinner (crispy roasties only!), here’s how much time each city is spending on each essential ritual.

Okay Bristol with your 9 hour 14 minute gift shopping time, how do we get on your nice list? Also enjoying Cardiff’s 7 hour 4 minutes of Christmas movie bliss; meanwhile, Brighton haven’t even given themselves enough time to watch Home Alone and The Grinch! Sad. Interestingly, Gen Z spends the most time preparing for Christmas - over 50% more than everyone else. Must be for the TikTok content, right?

Christmas Prep Time

When it comes to the festive feast, both men and women spend just over 3.5 hours in the kitchen. We’re hoping Belfast dinners are worth the wait as they’re spending almost five hours cooking! Surely that includes some wine and Quality Street breaks, Belfast.

Christmas Preparation Time

Let’s Talk Cards & Gifts

Our favourite things to talk about!

Just how long are people spending writing Christmas cards? How much time and money goes on Christmas gifts for mum, dad, partners, friends, aunties, colleagues and the couple next door but one?

The UK spends, on average, almost 12.5 hours preparing their Christmas gifts and cards each year: 2 hours 25 writing cards, 6 hours 37 shopping and 3 hours 24 wrapping.

Brits are set to spend 161 million hours writing cards and 445 million hours on wrapping alone this Christmas! So many hours which could be saved by sending a Moonpig straight to their door (just saying)...

Not only that, we’re spending an average of £482 on gifts for our nearest and dearest, with the Welsh coming out on top as the Big Spenders with an average of £611. 

Take back some of those hours spent shopping for the perfect gifts and handwriting those cards; send Christmas joy straight to their door in just a few taps with Moonpig. It’s never been easier to send personalised Christmas cards and thoughtful gifts to everyone on your list. 


The data collected in this study was based on a survey on Christmas preparation time. The survey took place in October 2021 and questioned 1,007 UK adults.