The older generations are preparing for Christmas in style this year, with 5.8 million pensioners set to host family and friends on the big day.

They’ll be in a giving mood too, as research from Prudential has revealed that they’ll spend £4.2 billion when hosting and gift giving.

The average retiree will spent nearly £400 each on presents, food and other entertainment. More than half of all pensioners are set to invite people to their homes – racking up the collective cost.

As they get into the festive spirit, pensioners will spent around £140 on entertaining and £250 on gifts. Overall, two in five pensioners will spend upwards of £300 on gifts for their friends and families, particularly the very young.

Getting the family together

A similar number of pensioners said that Christmas is when they spent most time with their families, with the majority of them being very welcoming to all relations.

Some 43% will host their children on Christmas Day, 29% will entertain grandchildren and 10% will see extended families on 25 December. An additional 10% will welcome friends on the day, providing opportunities for those without family or who are a long distance from their relations.

When guests do visit, the length of their stays varies greatly with six in ten people staying just for Christmas Day.

However, 5% of people surveyed are expecting their family and friends to stay for at least a week while 2% said they will be hosting for at least a fortnight.

Watching the finances

Slightly less than two thirds of pensioners admitted that they love hosting Christmas celebrations for their families but that they always keep their spending in check.

This financial restraint is vital to ensuring that they do not overspend during the festive season, with 45% saying they plan a budget in advance. A further 19% said they have cut down on their spending in recent years so that they can afford to live.

There are some pensioners that find Christmas a financial burden though, as 34% revealed this is the case. A further 30% raised concerns that costs are increasing year on year and 4% are worried about the bills they may face in January.

Planning Christmas in a calm and calculated way means many pensioners can enjoy hosting their families without having to worry about their finances.

While the research suggests that many people are happy to spend, it’s important that funds are available to cover post-Christmas bills.