Scrooges at Christmas

I spotted this headline this morning – Shoppers turn Scrooge as cost-of-living pressures bite into retail spending. My immediate thought was, “really?”

Why should people be labeled as scrooges when they’re simply trying to live within their means? Why should we be forced to spend more than we can afford to give things that most people don’t need?

The article tells us about the ‘desperate’ state of Christmas shopping this year.

THERE will be fewer – and cheaper – gifts under the Christmas tree this year because cost-of-living pressures are forcing Australians to rethink their shopping habits.

Extravagant shopping sprees on credit are being replaced with thrifty gifts and worries about being able to afford a decent feast for the family, an exclusive online survey of more than 1000 Daily Telegraph readers found.

About 30 per cent of people plan to spend no more than $50 on gifts for each family member this Christmas, with 15 per cent budgeting less than $20 per present.

I know that we all love to treat our loved ones and that gift giving is a wonderful part of our relationships, but if all we take out of Christmas is a desire to outspend each other we’ve missed the point. It’s a vicious circle that has us feeling more and more stressed and makes Christmas a time we’d rather avoid.

What if we started to think differently? What if we took the lead of organisations like Compassion and gave gifts that were not only appreciated but life changing?

Most of us here in Australia have more than enough “stuff” in our lives, yet each birthday and Christmas we find ourselves cramming more well-intentioned gifts into our cupboards. But what if you could give—and receive—gifts that meant something special to your family and friends, but also to children who have far less stuff than they need? That is the genius of Gifts of Compassion!

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • About choked on the $50/person. I could only wish… I have a set budget and it is not set at that much for anyone. No cc so that leaves out overspending. Rats! Reckon i will just have to enjoy my family. And I have in the past simply said, “No gifts. Take what you would have spent on me and send it to ______.” I was honored they did that. Sure took the wondering out of their “what should we get dad for Christmas?”

  • I agree. It is not right to spend too much for the holidays. The most important in giving gifts is not the value of the item but the thought that we made in choosing that item, right?

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