Children want presence, not presents this Christmas

With millions of letters heading to the North Pole in past weeks, a new study has found it's not the presents sitting under the tree on Christmas morning that are topping children's Christmas wish lists this year '“ spending quality time with mum and dad is what children want the most.

The heart-warming new poll from Butlin’s has revealed the top 25 things that are really on children’s Christmas lists.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 adults and 1,000 children, reveals that decorating the tree and home tops the list.

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Other priority activities on the list include visiting Father Christmas, listening to Christmas songs and making gifts for others.

Surprisingly, receiving presents doesn’t feature on the list at all – so all those parents spending hours tracking down this year’s elusive ‘must-have’s’ can breathe a sigh of relief and spend that time making festive memories with their children instead.

In fact, receiving presents is so far down on children’s priorities this Christmas that over half (51 per cent) of six – 11 year olds state they would like to donate their gifts to those less fortunate than them.

Two thirds (65 per cent) of children would rather see their family happy than receive presents – but the stresses of modern life are getting in the way.

A shocking 69 per cent of children state Christmas is the only time in the year they get to spend time with the entire family.

However in the season of goodwill, three in five parents (57 per cent) say they find it difficult to get into the festive spirit due to Christmas related stress.

More than a third (37 per cent) of parents claim this time of year is their most stressful and 59 per cent wish they had more time to spend with their children.

When asked what one thing would make Christmas Day perfect, both parents (65 per cent) and children (72 per cent) wish for snow – despite the fact Britain is due to have the warmest Christmas ever.

Dermot King, managing director of Butlin’s, said: “We understand that Christmas can be a stressful time and all parents want to do is make it special for their little ones.

“Our research shows that – far from wanting expensive treats – time with parents and loved ones puts a festive grin on their faces, showing that kids really understand the true meaning of Christmas.

“At Butlin’s we’ve been providing perfect family moments for 80 years and this Christmas we’re providing all the festive experiences in one place, so that mum and dad can relax and focus on what’s really important.”

Children’s ‘Christmas Spiritometer’ – Top 25

1. Decorating the Christmas tree

2. Eating chocolates from an advent calendar

3. Decorating the house with lights

4. Building a snowman with family

5. Making a Christmas wish list

6. Hanging Christmas stockings

7. Listen to Christmas music

8. Baking with parents

9. Drinking hot chocolate

10. Watching Christmas films

11. Meeting Father Christmas

12. Going to see a pantomime

13. Eating a mince pie

14. Seeing the Christmas lights

15. Making presents and cards for my family / friends

16. Spending quality time with my family

17. Put out mince pies and carrots for Father Christmas and his reindeer

18. Eating candy canes

19. Wearing a Christmas jumper

20. Making Christmas decorations

21. Writing a letter to Father Christmas

22. Playing board games with family / friends

23. Writing and sending Christmas cards to friends

24. Going sledging with family / friends

25. Wrapping presents

Butlin’s Christmas breaks offer visits to Father Christmas’s Grotto, Christmas shows and skating rink, amongst other activities. To book visit