How much time does Christmas take?

Photo: Countdown
Photo: Countdown
Kiwis spend a hefty 22 hours on average getting ready for Christmas Day - but that's nothing compared to other parts of the world, a new study shows.

The results have been revealed in a survey undertaken by the Countdown supermarket chain.

The company asked its customers how long they plan to spend cooking, shopping, wrapping and preparing for the big day.

But compared to the United Kingdom, the figures suggest New Zealanders are a more relaxed bunch. In the UK, people spend more than 65 hours on average getting organised for Christmas Day.

The survey found most of the preparation is left until the week before Christmas and, on average, New Zealanders put less than 22 hours into getting ready.

While dinner preparation and cooking might seem like the most time-consuming part of the lead-up to Christmas, it’s actually buying gifts that Kiwis’ find the most difficult.

The average Kiwi spends almost six hours shopping for presents, compared to three hours on preparing and cooking the Christmas feast.

Countdown merchandise general manager Scott Davidson said New Zealanders are often focused on heading away for the summer holidays, rather than Christmas Day itself. 

"Having a summer Christmas means our cooking and preparation is more focused around a barbecue and salads than big traditional meals, which luckily can also take us less time to think about and prepare than meal planning in the Northern Hemisphere."

He said customers can book their grocery shopping a week in advance of Christmas Eve.  Countdown stores across the country will also be open longer over December, but will be closed on Christmas Day. 

The Countdown Christmas survey showed:

  • Almost 50 per cent of customers surveyed spend less than an hour travelling on Christmas Day and 28 per cent say they don’t travel at all.
  • Aucklanders spend more time in their cars over Christmas than anywhere else in NZ.  
  • On average, Kiwis spend two hours wrapping presents - a third of the time people in the UK spend on wrapping (six hours).
  • In New Zealand, women and men share the overall responsibility of organising Christmas almost equally, although women spend almost double the time wrapping Christmas presents than males.
  • Customers aged between 30 to 44 carry the load when it comes to preparing for Christmas.
  • Over 65-year-olds tend to do the least planning for Christmas.
  • On Christmas Day, the cooking duties are evenly spread across the family, with both men and women, young and old, working together to create the festive fare.

On average, Kiwis spend: 

  • Four hours and 54 minutes planning for Christmas (UK: Five hours and 21 minutes).
  • Five hours and 42 minutes shopping for Christmas presents (UK: 10 hours and seven minutes).
  • Two hours and 19 minutes buying food for Christmas (UK: Eight hours and 49 minutes).
  • One hour and 49 minutes wrapping presents (UK: Six hours and 53 minutes).
  • Two hours and 59 minutes preparing for Christmas dinner (UK: Seven hours and 53 minutes).
  • Two hours eight minutes cleaning up after Christmas (UK: Six hours and 53 minutes).
  • Fifty-six minutes driving on Christmas Day (UK: four hours and 17 minutes).

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