Despite concerted efforts by the main shopping outlets to commercialise Christmas, the Three Kings are still far more popular than Santa Claus in the Balearics. The vast majority of families will not be giving out their presents until this Friday night, January 5, when the Three Kings arrive although attitudes are gradually changing. Seventy-five percent of families and children aged between five and ten still send their list of presents to the Three Kings. But there is a growing awareness of Santa Claus and his significance in other countries and cultures and there are growing numbers of children who will have received a token Christmas present. However, market forces are showing change in parents' attitudes and of the 75 percent who still honour the Three Kings, half want the “present giving” day brought forward to Christmas - while the gifts at Three Kings will still be recognised as reward for children “who have been good.” The conflict of Santa Claus versus the Three Kings is becoming a costly battle for consumers. Fifty percent of families, particularly middle to upper and upper class, are buying presents at Christmas and Three Kings. Thirty-six percent are giving some of their Three Kings' presents at Christmas, the remainder on January 5. Market research carried out over the past two weeks has however confirmed that 58.3 percent of the country prefer to receive their presents on Three Kings. Just under 20 percent, alternate between Christmas and January 5 while eight percent do not buy any presents at all. But while the Three Kings and Santa battle it out, the Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers has complained about the small amount of money spent on toys.


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