Who is to blame for the deadweight loss of Christmas?

The elderly, for a start:

The most inappropriate gifts, costing 50 per cent more than their value to the recipients, come from elderly relatives. Sensibly, many elect to give cash instead. Unsurprisingly, friends and partners give less wasteful gifts. It’s interesting to note that the most wasteful presents are those that cost roughly between Pounds 25 and Pounds 50 – expensive enough to assuage the guilt of a hurried choice, but cheap enough not to require double-checking with those close to the recipient.

Read more here.

Addendum: This year my mother and sister (their idea) stipulated that we would not exchange Christmas presents.  Of course these agreements are easiest to make in exactly those cases where you need them least.


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