THEY are meant to be a big surprise – but nearly a quarter of Britons admit to snooping around for their Christmas presents ahead of the big day.
Some 22 per cent of 2,000 people surveyed said they search high and low for their gifts with 87 per cent succeeding in finding them.
The snoopers resort to great lengths to find their festive haul, with 43 per cent going through every cupboard in the house.
They keep their activities undercover with 31 per cent unwrapping and rewrapping a present when they find it. Some even use technology to track down the Christmas treats – 13 per cent check internet browser history, five per cent sneak a look at text, WhatsApp or email messages and five per cent log into the buyer’s bank account.
But with so many spies around, the givers are getting crafty about hiding Christmas presents according to the research from website lastminute.com.
Fifty-three per cent keep the gifts in the wardrobe, 26 per cent hide them under the bed and seven per cent put them in their underwear drawer.
Some opted for less obvious locations, including the dog’s bed, the laundry bin, the boot of the car and even inside stuffed toys.
It seems that women are far nosier than men when it comes to hunting down their bounty – 25 per cent compared with 17 per cent – but they are also more likely to get away with it. The number of men getting caught red-handed was 26 per cent.
Presents under bed
The North-east has the worst culprits
People in the North-east are the worst culprits with 31 per cent admitting to having a sneaky peek, followed by the Welsh (25 per cent) and those in the West Midlands (25 per cent).
All that snooping comes at a cost, with 30 per cent admitting to buying additional gifts because what they were being given was more expensive than what they had bought. And it can be dangerous too.
Six per cent of respondents have got hurt in their hunt for gifts, with East Midlanders causing themselves the most damage.
Britons have bruised themselves, burnt their hair, fallen off a ladder, tripped running towards the tree or needed stitches after a tin fell on their head when spying around in the garage.
But at least the snoopers have a conscience.
The most common feeling after finding presents ahead of the big day was sneaky and naughty (21 per cent), while nine per cent felt disappointed or they had ruined Christmas.
Only eight per cent got a rush of excitement and five per cent felt dishonest.