By Charlotte Hope, Lifestyle Editor @TLE_Lifestyle
I tend to buy people alcohol for xmas, so I tend to “hide” the presents down my throat from the 1st of December onwards, then wrap up one of my rubbish presents from last year, and give it as a replacement for the lost bottle of cherry, champagne, Baileys…
However, cunning Brits are resorting to hiding Christmas presents for their loved ones in a host of imaginative places – with the greenhouse, oven and washing machine the most unusual, a study revealed.
Researchers who polled 2,000 homeowners found 72 per cent hide presents around the house, with almost half saying they struggle to come up with imaginative hiding places each year.
The study revealed British homes become treasure troves throughout the festive period – with an average £360 worth of presents hidden away from prying eyes. And the secret spots even extended outside, as a resourceful one in ten hide their gifts in the wheelie bin until it’s safe to bring them indoors to wrap.
A spokeswoman for Sheilas’ Wheels, which commissioned the study, said: “Every year it can be harder to think of places to hide all your Christmas purchases.”
“Whilst it’s tempting to store presents in all kinds of strange and secluded spots so as not to ruin the surprise, it’s essential to keep your gifts safe and away from other sneaks in the run-up to Christmas.At this time of year, burglaries are a concern due to the volume of high value items we are storing.”
The research showed the most common hiding places for Christmas presents were in the wardrobe (54%) and under the bed (42%).
However, many confessed they venture outdoors with bags of gifts, storing them in the garage (14%), boot of the car (13%) and garden shed (12%).
Amazingly, a number of adults went as far as to name their dog kennel, outdoor caravan and washing machine as appropriate homes for presents.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, two in three adults said toys and games are the gifts they tend to squirrel around the house away from curious children (66%).
These were followed by costly electronic items such as tablets, iPods and games consoles, whilst CDs, DVDS and jewellery were also mentioned.
Though the average secret present stash came in at £360, an extravagant four per cent confessed to hiding over £1000 pounds worth of gifts in their homes over the Christmas period.
It’s a game of hide and seek for a quarter of Brits who said they’re guilty of searching for their own presents in the past, with many who said they found them easily.
Interestingly, over a quarter of respondents (27%) named their partners as most likely to search for gifts. It seemed hiding is too much effort for one in three, who confessed to storing presents wrapped under the tree throughout the festive season.
Tellingly, this included 15 per cent who said they leave gifts in full view of the window. The research also revealed an awareness of Christmas crime, with a quarter of Brits (25%) knowing one household that has been burgled over the Christmas period and nearly 20 per cent knowing two.
The Sheilas’ Wheels spokeswoman said: “Keeping your presents safe as well as secret should be a priority this festive period.”
“In order to be extra secure, check your home insurance to see if, like Sheilas’ Wheels, it provides additional cover during religious festivals.”
Photocredit Wikipeida/Kelvin Kay