It turns out presents aren't what Kiwi's want most for Christmas according to new research

If you're stressing out about how you're going to afford all your Christmas shopping, don't fret.

New research says that gifts come in at a poor seventh place in a list of what New Zealanders most look forward to this season.

Research by the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) shows that time with family was far and away from the most important – 62 per cent of us rate this number one, with summer weather coming second at 37 per cent and time off work third at 33 per cent.

These were followed by Christmas food, time with friends, and the Christmas spirit of love and peace.

Only 13 per cent of people rated giving or exchanging gifts as something they looked forward to - with many people dreading shopping, commercialism and the cost of Christmas.

Interim Retirement Commissioner Peter Cordtz says one way to counter the anxiety of spending at this time of year is to talk with your family and agree on ways to keep down Christmas costs.

"Have a discussion about what Christmas means to you and set your expectations together, in the context of what you've got coming up and your long term goals," says Cordtz.

"It will take the pressure off you and everyone in your whānau. None of us wants to start a new year behind the eight ball having spent too much over Christmas."

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.