One in seven Australians (14 per cent) do not spend a cent on Christmas gifts for their partner, but among those who do, men are more generous than women, according to new research.
The Slater and Gordon family law survey of 2,000 Australians in married and de facto relationships revealed that the average amount couples spend on each other at Christmas is $142 – 15 per cent more than what they spent when they first got together.
The poll found Australian men in committed relationships spent an average of $163 on their partner’s present, 40 per cent more than women who spent an average of $116.
Senior family lawyer Heather McKinnon said the amount of money that couples spent on each other during the festive season should have little bearing on their overall happiness.
“In terms of achieving and maintaining a harmonious partnership, it’s not about how much money is shelled out on presents,” Ms McKinnon said.
“There are plenty of people who give and receive extravagant gifts and yet remain unfulfilled in their relationship."
“There are countless others who may not have enough wealth to splurge on presents, but they manage to show their love in other ways.
“When it boils down to it, most people in a relationship simply want respect, trust and communication.
“Couples shouldn’t feel pressure to splash the cash. It truly is the thought that counts.”
Ms McKinnon said the holiday season could be a difficult time for couples who felt pressured by the extra spending, shopping and family functions.
“Emotions tend to run high over the silly season, so couples should avoid adding strain to their lives by thinking they need to shower others with gifts or by expecting their partner to reciprocate,” she said.
“Writing a love letter, crafting a simple ‘date night’ voucher, or offering to mind the kids for a day while your partner gets some alone time are all great alternatives to expensive gifts.”