No tears for Tias in the Xmas gift stakes

OVER the course of a year I receive scores of press releases proclaiming the results of surveys and any one of them potentially could be the most ridiculous of the 12 months. The winner could pop into my inbox any time from January 1 so it is a little sur

OVER the course of a year I receive scores of press releases proclaiming the results of surveys and any one of them potentially could be the most ridiculous of the 12 months.

The winner could pop into my inbox any time from January 1 so it is a little surprising that it has taken until near the end of 2009 for the top of the flops to emerge.

Just days ago I got a release which seemed to me a complete waste of time and money.

It was conducted by a parenting website and asked 4,000 parents how much they spend on their kids at Christmas.


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This shows that the average spend on boys this time round will be �165.98 while the news is not so good for girls who might expect to have gifts worth �152.19 showered on them.

That is just about interesting enough to know, but the poll went further than that - and it could leave some children expecting much more than they will actually get and others going on the internet to see if they can change their names before the 25th comes along.

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Researchers came up with the "fact" that girls named Tia will have the biggest smiles on Christmas Day because they will each have a whopping �500 spent on them.

The next luckiest girl is Lilly who is due for �425 worth of presents while third-placed Brooke will get �293.33 of gifts (I wonder how they get the odd 33p?).

And so the list goes down through Lexi, Libby, Darcy, Poppy, Skye, Maisie, Zara...

It continues through many more names until we get to Connie, Kiera, Isabella, Lola and Sofia before it reaches second bottom Maddison who can expect a cry-inducing �55 worth. But bawling the most could be Isobel with barely a stocking full of gifts worth �30, a massive �470 less than Tia.

The luckiest boy is reckoned to be Cody (�450) followed by Leon (�310) then Louis, Sam, Liam, Aaron, Kai, Rhys, Eliot and Kian.

Amounts plunge until we get to poor old Ashton who, if the survey is to be believed, will receive presents worth a paltry �10. Don't bother leaving out a drop of sherry and a mince pie for Santa, Ashton, you won't get a good return on them.

In another survey, Save the Children found that parents in the East of England are being forced to cut back on Christmas presents and basic essentials such as heating, and are falling into debt to buy warm clothes and food in a bid to make ends meet this winter.

Indeed, the majority of parents questioned said they will buy fewer presents for their children.

But only a third of them will tell the kids the real reason why - the credit crunch. Isn't it lucky that the bankers on their bonuses will not have the same problem cutting back in their homes. For any lad named Ashton with a banker mum or dad, it must feel like Christmas.

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