Press Release

For immediate release

White Lies: Two in five people will lie about liking your gift this Christmas

  • Almost two thirds (64 percent) of Brits have told a Christmas fib
  • 2.3 million people have claimed they made food that was actually shop-bought
  • One in ten (10 percent) pretend to enjoy Christmas
  • A fifth of people have secretly spent more than they can afford over Christmas

19 December 2018, LONDON –

While many Brits across the country will be hoping for a “white Christmas” this year, various social commitments and expectations of gifts mean they may also have to be on the lookout for a few “white lies”.

New research from personal finance comparison website has found that 64 percent of Brits have told at least one Christmas fib to friends and family over the festive period before.

The most common lies are made in good faith however, with two in five people (40 percent) admitting that they have pretended to like a gift. Men appear to be less compromising on this issue, as just 30 percent have spared people’s feelings compared to half of women (49 percent).

Over one in five Brits (22 percent) have also received a gift they already owned, but not let on to the giver. This kind gesture might be leading us to “recycle” gifts though – one in six (15 percent) people give away presents that they already own but claim they are new, with females being almost twice as likely to have done this (19 percent vs 11 percent).

A further two million Brits have taken this one step further and pretended to make presents (such as as knitted items or DIY items) that they secretly purchased from a shop. It is also more common than you might expect for “homemade” food to actually be shop-bought, with 2.3 million of us admitting to having done this at least once before.

For some, the only lie told over Christmas is saying that they enjoy the festive period. One in ten (10 percent) of us pretend to like the festive celebration, perhaps explaining why 13 percent of scrooge-like Britons have pretended to be busy over the holidays in order to avoid hosting or visiting friends or family.

Worryingly, one in five of us (19 percent) have spent more than we can afford on presents or decorations without telling anyone at some point. This is more common among women, where one in four (24 percent) have done this, compared to one in six men (15 percent).

Across the board, significantly fewer men appear to tell “white lies” over Christmas. Seven in ten women (70 percent) say they have told at least one fib, whereas 57 percent of men admit to doing so.

In terms of a generational divide, it appears that the older you are, the more honest you’re likely to be over Christmas. While 57 percent of baby boomers and older generations have lied at least once over the holidays, two thirds (66 percent) of Gen X admit to fibbing, with the number rising to 69 percent for millennials and 79 percent for Gen Z.

Speaking about the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO at said: “Christmas is a very busy period for everyone so it’s understandable that a few “white lies” are told to spare feelings and make it easier to organise everything. However, it is worrying to see that over 10 million Brits have spent more than they could afford on gifts and not felt able to tell anyone.

“Instead of buying presents for the sake of gift-giving, make them count. The easiest way to do this is to find out what your loved ones want or need. Don’t be afraid to ask for a wishlist – it could make all the difference. You could also try using Icebox, which is a free online shopping tool made to help consumers avoid overspending. Items you’re unsure about can be “frozen'” for a period of 1-30 days, to allow you time to consider if you really need the product before purchasing it.”

“Finally, if you plan on pretending food you bought is homemade, then make sure to dispose of the packaging before your guests arrive!”


  • commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+
  • A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
  • The research was conducted between 7 and 13 November 2018.
  • Jon Ostler, CEO (UK) at is available for comment, opinion or interview regarding the research


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