Christmas present peeking mostly leads to regret

Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:49pm EST
 
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By Alice Baghdjian

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - They've been foraging in the attic late at night and rummaging under the bed: Beware the Christmas present peekers.

About one in three British adults already know what they will receive for Christmas - because they have snuck a peek at their presents, a new study showed this week.

The survey of 1,000 people by British insurance company insurastore.com showed that 37 percent of British adults admitted to searching for their presents, and out of those, eight in 10 were successful in the hunt.

"Kids aside, it seems even adults have a fascination for what Father Christmas might have bought them and keeping surprises under wraps is a considerable challenge in any household," insurastore Managing Director Paul Maddicott said.

One in five British adults have torn the wrapping paper enough to be able to identify a gift and one in 20 admitted to unwrapping presents completely, the survey revealed.

The average snooper spends an hour and 15 minutes seeking out Christmas gifts. Respondents ranked the top of the wardrobe and under the bed as the most common hiding places.

However, more than half of those who discovered what they were getting for Christmas (56 percent) later regretted their curiosity and said they wished they had not looked. Four in 10 even complained that they had spoiled Christmas.

"We'd definitely urge anyone who's curious to try and resist temptation as the spoilt surprise and feelings of guilt are likely to take the fun out of Xmas day," Mr Maddicott said.

The study also found that women were more inquisitive than men, with 40 percent of women admitting to hunting for presents compared to 33 percent of men. But women were also more likely to own up with one in 20 admitting to their boyfriend or husband that they had sneaked a peek at their presents.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>A traditional Christmas party is held at the Elysee Palace in Paris December 14, 2005. REUTERS/Christophe Ena/Pool</p>