Forget oranges and chocolate coins for Christmas, many of us will receive cold hard cash in our stockings this year.
In total, Britons expect to trouser around £1.2 billion in gift money this festive season, research conducted by first direct has revealed.
More than a quarter of us (28%) expect to receive money as a gift at Christmas, anticipating an average amount of £83 each.
This compares to 19% of people who received an average of £61 as a gift in Christmas 2010.
In addition, 6% of people are expecting a cash boost from their employers in December.
Once again cash is king this Christmas; the majority of people (63%) receive Christmas money as cash, but cheques have retained their popularity, with almost a quarter of people (23%) receiving their present in this form.
Another 9% of people expect to be given gift cards or vouchers.
With times hard, almost four in ten people who receive money at Christmas will use it to pay for everyday items such as groceries, with a quarter using their windfall to boost their savings and investments.
A generous 1% will donate some of their gift money to charity.
"Recipients of Christmas money don't have to choose between rewarding themselves and putting aside some savings," said Bruno Genovese, head of savings at first direct.
"You don't need a large sum to open a savings account and it can help get the New Year off to a positive start, laying the groundwork for a regular savings routine that will help provide a nest egg for future plans or unforeseen circumstances."
You can open a savings account with just a £1.
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