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Spain among Europe's biggest festive spenders, but a growing number resort to credit to fund Christmas
09 January 2017 @ 10:22

SPAIN has spent more on the festive season than almost any other country in Europe – partly because, with the Twelfth Night and Epiphany celebrations, Spaniards effectively have two Christmases.

More and more families are choosing to give gifts on Christmas Eve night as well as the evening of January 5, although some prefer to stick to Spanish tradition and keep present-giving to the latter, brought by the Three Wise Men instead of Santa Claus.

The Magi are known as the Three Kings in Spain, and the parades with Melchior, Balthazar and Casper followed by the mass ripping of wrapping paper is the most exciting moment of the holidays for most children.

But all this takes its toll on Spanish families' bank accounts – the average household spent €682 on gifts alone, the highest figure seen since 2009.

This may be due to rising prices, or to residents generally feeling more financially secure than they ever have during the financial crisis which started eight years ago.

Only Danish families blew more on festive presents, but not by a wide margin, with a typical household shelling out €689.

This means Spain spends 29% more than the Germans, 11% more than the Italians, 15% more than the Belgians and a whopping 60% more than the Portuguese – and 4% more than they did for the Christmas and New Year festivities over 2015-2016.

By contrast, spending dropped elsewhere in Europe by 1%, but Spanish consumers interviewed by accountants Deloitte said, in 74% of cases, that they felt more confident in the stability of the national economy than they had a year previously, when 63% believed the country was becoming more financially secure.


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