One in five forget to buy a family present before Christmas Day: Circle K

One in five forget to buy a family present before Christmas Day: Circle K

Over a fifth of people (23%) have forgotten to buy a present for a family member ahead of Christmas Day and 41% have panicked forgetting to buy something essential for the big day, according to new research by Circle K.

The company has revealed that batteries (43%) are the top item people have forgotten to buy for Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, a quarter of people (25%) will wait until the week before Christmas to purchase most or all their presents

Soft drinks were voted the most essential item to have in the house for Christmas (70%), followed by boxes of chocolates (68%) and a Christmas dessert (63%).

The forecourt retailer revealed the study as it launched its in-store Christmas range featuring everything from gifting options to last minute essentials.

From stocking filler gifts, special offers on food and drink to essential items, Circle K is on hand to make sure nothing gets in the way of celebrating the most wonderful time of year, the company said.

Last minute

When it comes to the last-minute Christmas dash, there is the inevitable forgotten item or two and for 43% of those polled, the experience of forgetting batteries for a most prized gift is one familiar to them, Circle K said.

Other essential items people have forgotten to buy on Christmas Day are spare gifts for unexpected visitors (31%) and Christmas cards (18%). Almost a quarter (24%) have experienced Christmas Day panic due to a family member receiving the same present twice, and when visiting a loved one, 18% have left gifts at home by accident.

Several food and drink items were singled out as essential items to have at home during Christmas for those polled.

Top of the list is soft drinks (70%), boxes of chocolate (68%) and a Christmas dessert (62%). Over half (56%) say a bottle of wine is essential, while 29% could not imagine a Christmas at home without cracking open a bottle of bubbly prosecco.

While 19% of those polled start their Christmas shopping three months early, a quarter (25%) wait until the week before Christmas to buy their gifts.

Gift ideas

Of those, three in ten (31%) say they wait because they are a last-minute type of person, while 25% admit that they struggle to come up with gift ideas.

As it’s the busiest time of year for online shopping, delivery delays can happen, but unphased by this, 25% say they are still likely to order a present online with no guarantee that it will arrive in time, a scenario that 28% have experienced in the past.

This year just under half (49%) plan to take part in a Secret Santa scheme. A quarter (26%) will do a Secret Santa with family and despite most people working from home right now, 18% will still do one with work colleagues.

Agreeing how much to spend is typically agreed upon by all participants before buying gifts, and 31% will spend €20 or less. Circle K says its selection of festive gifts are perfect for any Secret Santa budget, including luxurious Torq Scented Candles for €10, Dirty Works 2-Piece Bath Sets for €10, and cosy Oversized Hoodies for €25.

Joanne D’Arcy, Director of Market Development at Circle K Ireland said: “At Circle K, we are here to make Christmas easy. Whether you need an essential item such as batteries, Sellotape or wrapping paper, looking for special offers on food and drink or on the hunt for a great value Christmas gift, you will find everything you need at your local Circle K store.

“While you can get everything that you need for Christmas under one roof at Circle K, research shows that amidst all the festive excitement, sometimes forgetting something essential is inevitable. For those that forget, many Circle K stores will be open on Christmas Day, so stop by your local store for whatever you need!”

For more information on Circle K’s in-store Christmas product range and festive special offers, visit