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Children top gift expenditure table

People tend to spend more money on their spouse at Christmas than on both of their parents combined, a study has found.

And people spend a similar amount on their aunt or uncle's Christmas gift to that which goes on the family pet's festive treat, according to the UK-wide survey for Nationwide Building Society.

Children account for the most money spent at Christmas, with an average of £136 paid out, it found. Meanwhile, consumers said they spend around £93 on their partner, £35 on their mother or stepmother and £28 on their father or stepfather.

People said they spend around £10 buying gifts for aunts and uncles - and a similar amount on their pet.

Researchers also found that m en are likely to spend more on family members at Christmas than women, with an average of £287.21 being paid out by men compared to just £257.31 by women.

But women tend to spend more on the children in their family than men, at £142.42 compared with £129.39.

Men typically lavish more money on their partner at Christmas than women. Men said they spend £106.48 on their spouse at Christmas, while women fork out £81.34.

Graham Pilkington, Nationwide's director for banking, said: "It's inevitable that the spouse or partner remains top of mind when people are out doing the Christmas shopping. After all, they will often be the first person they see on Christmas Day.

"However, it is a shame if people are not taking the opportunity to repay the support that the Bank of Mum and Dad has provided over the years."

More than 2,000 adults took part in the research.

Here is how spending on family members typically adds up, according to the Nationwide study:

:: Child/Children, £136.20

:: Partner, £93.79

:: Mother/Stepmother, £35.05

:: Father/Stepfather, £28.88

:: Siblings, £26.16

:: In-laws, £24.79

:: Grandparents, £15.94

:: Aunts/Uncles, £10.62

:: Pets, £10.49

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