Seasonal shopping
to fill your stockings

Here’s what Brits are really hoping to
receive this Christmas

Love celebrating the festive season but struggle with finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones? You aren’t alone. In fact, 1 in 3 Brits lack confidence when it comes to shopping for Christmas presents…

At House of Fraser, we wanted to understand what’s on everyone’s wish lists this year to help make the Christmas shopping experience as stress-free as possible.

As part of this, we carried out a nationwide study, asking 2,000 respondents to understand people’s pain points when it comes to finding the right gifts. To help, we then partnered up with shopping expert Chantelle Znideric who shared her top tips for getting your gift game spot on.

A Wishlist infographic

What exactly are Brits hoping to receive as a gift this Christmas?

Interestingly, the most desired gift across the UK this year is fragrance (16%), including both perfume and men’s aftershave, followed by gift cards (15%) and clothing (15%,) suggesting a return to the classic gifts that are sometimes overlooked.

The greatest demand for fragrance-related gifts is in the North East and South West, with one in five people in these regions having fragrance as their most-wanted present on the list. So, if you’re gift shopping for someone in this region, this could be your best bet.

Looking into further splits, we found that fragrance was also the most popularly-desired gift among many age groups. However, it’s the highest amongst men and women aged 35-44.

When are most Brits planning to do their Christmas shopping this year?

As part of the survey, we also investigated some of the most popular dates for people to do their seasonal shopping. We found that almost half of the UK (45%) leave their present hunting until December - and men are 25% more likely to leave it until the last month than women. But how many of us are guilty of leaving it until mere days before Christmas?

The survey revealed that one in ten people don’t think about their Christmas gift list until 20th December, with 1% of the nation guilty of a Christmas Eve shopping spree.

We also looked back through the busiest days for shopping at House of Fraser in this last festive season and identified 11th December as our busiest date for Christmas shopping, so we’ve crowned this the nation’s favourite day to Christmas gift shop. To celebrate, we’re treating you to a secret discount code on this date only to help with those last-minute present purchases.*

Picture of Chantelle Znideric

“Chantelle Znideric first launched her style consultancy business 16 years ago to provide exceptional styling, personal shopping and gifting services. Passionate about helping people increase their confidence when it comes to style and shopping, Znideric has worked with many clients, supporting them in being bolder in their buying habits.”

A guide to finding the perfect gift

On average, just 20% of Brits never receive gifts they do not like or use at Christmas.

To help identify a gift that’ll be appreciated most this Christmas, Znideric shares her top three tips for success.

1. Explore the recipient’s interests and personality traits

The survey revealed that the biggest challenge when it comes to Christmas gifts is knowing what the recipient truly likes, with 27% of respondents stating this. 

Picture of Chantelle Znideric

Chantelle explains

"Being a great gifter starts with being a good observer - but it’s important to understand what aspects of a person you need to know ahead of choosing the right gift. I always think it’s important to start with personality and character traits. For example, are they reserved, or more creative and daring? These sorts of traits are usually linked to their lifestyle and values, which can help you to determine a suitable - and well-received - gift.

"In terms of lifestyle, ask yourself questions such as do they enjoy the outdoors or are they much more of a home bird? Noticing where they feel most at home and how they choose to spend their time will give you a better chance to think about relevant presents and specific brands. As an example, if the recipient enjoys being outdoors, perhaps on hikes or dog walks, a warm and weather-proof North Face puffer jacket could make for the perfect present. However, if they’re more likely to spend their free time snuggled up inside this winter, why not treat them to a pair of luxurious pyjamas or men's slippers?”

“I find this approach is much more successful than opting for items they’ve never expressed an interest in. With these more classic items, you can always look for ways to add personalisation for an added touch of sentimental value. For example, getting a name printed on a perfume bottle can be a sweet touch, as well as embroidering clothing items.”

2. Don’t overthink your gift

Sometimes it’s best to bring it back to basics, and play it safe with your presents.

Picture of Chantelle Znideric

Chantelle explains

"As confirmed by the survey, Brits enjoy receiving items often deemed as 'safe' and predictable such as fragrance, clothing and gift cards. Whilst it can be easy to feel pressure to think of unusual and unexpected items at Christmas, it’s often a good idea to bring things back to basics. Restocking a previously-loved men's aftershave or replacing a well-worn pair of Converse can feel like a real treat, whilst also making the recipient feel both understood and appreciated.”

“I find this approach is much more successful than opting for items they’ve never expressed an interest in. With these more classic items, you can always look for ways to add personalisation for an added touch of sentimental value. For example, getting a name printed on a perfume bottle can be a sweet touch, as well as embroidering clothing items.”

3. Consider clothing for those tricky recipients

The average search data for ‘Christmas gifts for dad’ in December is 111,375 in the UK, compared to just 34,955 for ‘Christmas gifts for mum’. The survey also confirmed that Brits typically find fathers and partners the hardest to buy presents for. Znideric shares why clothing is a fool-proof gift for those you are struggling with inspiration for.

Picture of Chantelle Znideric

Chantelle explains

"As for specific present guidance for fathers and boyfriends - as the most tricky to buy for - clothing is typically a fool-proof choice. Consider items they usually wear a lot, whether that be a practical winter coat such as Barbour jackets, or some simple wardrobe staples such as button-up shirts or t-shirts. When buying clothes for others, keep it simple and stick to items that can be easily layered unless you are particularly confident you know their style well. Accessories work nicely too for this type of recipient, such as watches and understated jewellery - both are a sign of celebrating love and happiness."

Based on what the UK wants for Christmas this year, we’ve collated some fool-proof gifts for her and him, no matter the age or budget.


1. 2000 respondent nationwide survey provided by Censuswide. Data collected 16th October 2023.


3. Google search data, collated via KWFinder. Data collected 11th October 2023