Grandparents are gearing up to spoil their grandchildren to the tune of £1.4bn this Christmas, according to new figures.
And for many, credit cards are bearing the weight of festive spending, with report authors Saga Money suggesting that the rise in online shopping has fueled a change in spending behaviours.
Almost half of present spending will be carried out on plastic and a third of Christmas food and drink will be purchased using a credit card - with 20 per cent of spending on socialising also set to be paid for via four-digit pin.
“Using a credit card makes buying gifts for children much simpler for many people over 50 who are buying more online," Jeff Bromage from Saga Credit Card explained.
"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.”
£65 per head
Researchers interviewed over 9,500 people aged 50 and over during a six-day period last month. The results of the study revealed that grandparents in the UK have, on average, three grandchildren and spend a minimum of £65 on each.
The most generous grandparents live in London and Scotland, spending more than £75 on each grandchild.
One in 20 grandparents also revealed they will spend more than £100 on an individual.
Furthermore, nearly four in 10 said they would be putting three or more gifts under the tree for their grandchildren.
When comparing Christmas past and present, almost 90 per cent of grandparents interviewed were in agreement that children expect much more expensive presents than they did when they were children. However, more than half said they love being able to spend money on their family at Christmas.
Set a budget and stick to it
While every grandparent knows how nice it is to spoil the grandkids, it is important to retain a sense of perspective at Christmas and to avoid bowing to societal pressure to overspend, according to debt advice charity StepChange.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: "There is already a huge societal pressure to spend at Christmas and for grandparents, there may be an extra incentive to buy presents they may not have had in their own childhood.
"It's very important to set a budget for Christmas and stick to it, to be realistic about who you buy presents for and to begin early to spread the cost. Using credit is a big decision and it should not be taken lightly. Christmas is just one day, but debt problems can last a lot longer."