All present and incorrect

THERE are just three days to go and I’m wondering in this season of openness and goodwill how many people would own up to the persistent problem of present peeking.

Apparently, we are a nation of offenders who are unable to resist the temptation of leaving gifts untouched under the Christmas tree – or even hidden in cupboards - until the big day.

New research commissioned by a very well known maker of adhesive tape reveals that it is not just children who are tempted to take a furtive peek. Far from it, in fact.

More than four out of 10 adults aged 35 to 44, and nearly a quarter of those aged 55 and over, admitted to peeling back the wrapping before they should really get their mitts on the packages.

Women are more likely to be the transgressors – over a third of them, compared to only 23 per cent of men.


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But one can forgive the ladies when one learns that they have been busy saving us money in the run up to the festive season.

They are much savvier than men when it comes to amassing bargains. Two-thirds of them have been using money-off and discount vouchers , a third use credit card points and rewards to pay for presents, and a quarter of them have cannily been recycling unwanted gifts from previous years.

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It is a sobering thought that Christmas parties are expected to cost UK companies �888m in lost productivity with a staggering 70 per cent of workers spending one working day nursing a hangover this festive season.

Another nugget of information gained from a new survey shows that the traditional Yuletide office party laid on by bosses is dying out.

Everybody used to enjoy one but in the dark financial times we now find ourselves in, there has been a drastic cutback in jollies with less than a quarter of employers – down 15 per cent on last year - rewarding their workforce with a free end of year thank you party (thankfully not mine, we had our bash on Friday).

A worrying trend is that nearly half of employees are now expected to pay for their works Christmas do, at an average cost of almost �50 each.

How to get to the party and home again in one piece is also something to take into consideration at this time of year.

Yet another survey concludes that, as winter sets in, eight out of 10 men insist on doing the driving in bad weather compared with just 14 cent of women.

Bit it is a different story when it comes to deciding who has a drink and who drives over the Christmas party season.

About a third of women said they most often ended up behind the wheel, compared with just a quarter of men.

I have always made it a simple rule to share the driving duties when socialising - I drive to the do and my other half drives back. It certainly works for me. Happy Christmas.

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