Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of socks, underwear, or hygiene products from Czech family or friends at Christmas will appreciate findings from a new ING bank poll.
In an international on-line survey the company asked 1,000 respondents from 14 European countries a number of questions related to holiday spending and gift-giving.
Czechs stood out in one area: they ranked as the most practical gift givers in Europe with 70% saying that they received a practical gift for Christmas last year—on average 46% of Europeans indicated getting gifts last year that were more functional than they were fun.
Forty-four percent of Czechs said they received a gift related to “leisure” last year; no indication was made as to which gifts specifically fell into these categories (a quick poll of Czechs in our office revealed that sweaters, money, and cosmetic boxed sets were popular presents to give and receive).
The poll also turned up some interesting stats on holiday spending habits. Forty-nine percent of Czechs said they felt “forced to spend money on Christmas,” a percentage surpassed only by those in Romania (53%) and Spain (57%), while 73% thought that “Christmas is too focused on spending money.”
Despite these numbers, only a small proportion of Czechs (8%) indicated falling into debt due to the holiday season—according to the poll just 10% of Europeans reported experiencing gift-induced financial hardship.
For comparison, in the US where ING also collected data, nearly a quarter (22%) of those surveyed said that they “Went into debt last year to pay for Christmas.”