You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

A quarter of grandads prefer NOT to see their family on Christmas day

Posted on 21 December 2016

  • One in six grandparents DON’T want Christmas lunch with their families
  • A quarter of grandads would rather not spend Christmas day with their grandkids
  • One in ten say drunken relatives are the thing they hate most about Christmas

While we may think all grandparents want to spend the day with their family; new research from over 50s experts SunLife has found that more than a quarter of grandads would rather not even see their grandkids on Christmas day.

One in six would prefer a quiet Christmas lunch at home alone, one in 20 would rather go to a pub or not bother with Christmas dinner at all, and one in 14 would rather get away from it all and spend Christmas abroad.

In contrast, grandmothers love having their families around them – half want to be at home, either cooking themselves (38%) or hosting but with the family doing most of the food (11%) while 25% prefer to go to a family members’ home for Christmas lunch.

Bah humbug

Apart from the cost, which is the thing all grandparents find the most difficult about the festivities, some of the things that really bother grandads about spending Christmas is being forced to watch TV they don’t like.

They also don’t like playing games, visitors that stay too long and drunken relatives - perhaps it is no wonder many prefer to spend the day alone.

What grandparents hate about Christmas
Grandmothers Grandfathers
The cost - too expensive The cost - too expensive
Being forced to watch TV I don't like Marks the end of another year
Marks the end of another year Being forced to watch TV I don't like
Playing games It's over too soon
Visitors staying too long The food – too much

Grandmothers find the feelings Christmas brings – that it is the end of another year and that it is over too soon - hard, although being forced to watch TV they don’t like is number 3 in their list of bugbears!

Surprise?

When it comes to buying Christmas presents for their grandchildren, most grandparents like to get a surprise gift (41%) however a third want to be sure they are getting their grandkids something they will like and prefer to be told what to buy by the parents.

Just under one in 12 go even further and ask the parents to buy the gift on their behalf while one in seven don’t bother with a gift and just give their grandkids the money.

The type of gift does vary slightly by age – younger grandparents (50-65) are much more likely to get their grandkids a surprise gift with 50% saying they do this compared to less than a third of those grandparents aged 65 or over.

On the flipside, one in five over 65s would prefer to give their grandchildren the money compared to just one in ten of those aged 50-65.

When it comes to what grandparents would like to receive, the top choice for grandmas and nans is something their grandchildren has crafted, with almost a third (31%) saying this would be their ideal gift.

However, for grandfathers and grandads, a home-made gift is fifth on the list – they would prefer a book, electrical or tech item, something drinkable or even a voucher before receiving something their grandchild has made.

Ideal Christmas gifts
Grandmothers Grandfathers
1 Homemade by grandchildren Book
2 Jewellery Electrical/tech item
3 Toiletries/smellies Drinkable
4 Voucher Voucher
5 Book Homemade by grandchildren
6 Clothes Clothes
7 Sentimental Nothing
8 Experience Music
9 Electrical/tech item DVD
10 Nothing Sentimental

Overall, books and vouchers are a popular choice, while one in five would like to receive something to wear while more grandfathers would rather receive nothing than music, a DVD or a sentimental gift.

Ian Atkinson, head of brand at SunLife said: “When I was a child, an older relative used to give us socks every year – several sizes too small – so as kids we were delighted when he started giving us a £5 note instead.

“It can be very difficult knowing what to buy a grandchild if you don’t see them often. Of course it’s just as difficult the other way around too – knowing what to buy the grandparents – so we hope this research helps.

“Basically, make something for grandma or buy her something she can wear… but buy granddad something he can read, plug in or drink!”

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.