By Marcus Leach

Nearly 30% of people expect to receive an average £83 each as a gift for Christmas in 2011 compared to 19% of people who received an average £61 at Christmas last year, First Direct says.

A further 6% are expecting a cash boost from their employers in December.

The research found that 63% receive Christmas money as cash, however cheques remain popular with nearly a quarter of people receiving a cheque as a Christmas present. Nearly 10% of people expect to be given gift cards or vouchers.

Bruno Genovese, Head of Savings at first direct commented, "The extra costs of Christmas outings, drinks and gifts can quickly add up and many will appreciate a cash boost at this time of year. With a greater amount of gift money expected in 2011, it seems that people are conscious of not wasting money on unwanted presents and are letting friends and family choose for themselves."

"While some will naturally use the money to treat themselves, seven in ten plan to put theirs to practical use, supplementing purchases of everyday items, saving and paying off debts."

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