Charity urges parents to ditch Christmas lists for kids

Mothers’ Union has called for parents to scrap Christmas lists for their children as they launch ‘Labelled for Life’, which is a guide on dealing with commercial influences on family life. The Mother’s Union survey revealed that :

  • 72% of parents have bought their children a gift that was on their Christmas list which they couldn’t afford.
  • 46% were said to have taken out a loan to afford Christmas gifts.

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 5th November 2012

The charity commissioned a survey which asked questions about ‘Christmas pressures’ on parents.  According to their findings, 72% of parents have bought their children a gift that was on their Christmas list which they couldn’t afford.  46% were said to have taken out a loan to afford Christmas gifts.   Parents often also felt pressure to buy age inappropriate gifts for their children.

Dad more susceptible to pressure

According to the report, Dads are more likely to give in to pressure than Mums! The survey found that 41% of dads feel pressured by their kids to buy age inappropriate gifts, compared with 32% of mums.  43% of dads feel their kids compare gifts, while only 35% of mums feel aware of this.

Pressure on families

Reg Bailey, chief executive of Mothers’ Union said:

“The pressure this brings to bear on family relationships and happiness is enormous.  Our survey shows that Christmas is the time of year when parents feel most pressurised into buying their children gifts which are over their budget, or inappropriate to their age. We want to ensure parents have the confidence to manage Christmas without debt or the stress of disappointing their children.

The majority of parents we spoke to (69%) said that Christmas lists create disappointment for children if they do not receive all the gifts that they have asked for.  We wouldn’t want to spoil the traditions of Christmas, but we are asking parents to consider ditching the Christmas list specifically to help reduce this sense of disappointment at what should be a time of happiness for all the family. Our new Labelled for Life guide aims to give parents the confidence they need to handle issues around the commercialisation they face as a family”.

Have you ditched Santa’s list

At Mindful Mum we see a plethora of organisations, charitable as well as commercial chattering about writing a letter to Santa. Do you bother with a Christmas list? Tell us what you think about the writing of a letter to Santa or the commercialisation of children in the comments below.

More on Christmas activities for kids

Christmas crafts for childrenInstead of getting your child to write a Christmas list for Santa why not get crafty together and make some Christmas decorations together.

Home made Christmas advent calendarOr create a advent calender instead.

Source:  Mothers’ Union, ‘Ditch the Christmas List’,  5th November 2012

Image: Mother’s Union report into the commercialisation of childhood

Comments for 'Charity urges parents to ditch Christmas lists for kids'

2 Responses to Charity urges parents to ditch Christmas lists for kids

  1. Lucy Heath says:

    There is nothing wrong with having a wish list. Nothing wrong with flicking through the Argos catalogue – that is a classic childhood game! I’d love to know how many parents surveyed do their Christmas shopping in December. I have spent the whole year dropping into nearly new sales and will be able to give our boys a sackful of presents for a fraction of what they would have cost new. Puzzles and books for 50p-£1, dressing up, electronic games, roller boots etc. I did the same last year and even packaged up a variety of items for other family members so it cost them less overall. I’d also love to know how many of the parents surveyed smoke, have sky tv or have a weekly takeaway etc. I’m not saying we don’t enjoy other luxuries we do, but think of every extra £1 you have spent at a petrol station picking up a chocolate bar, drink or sandwich. I bet the amount and the cost of 2 takeaways could have kitted your child out at Christmas.
    Christmas is a magical time where childhood memories are made, the way I can spoil my boys is to be organised and not precious about whether the box you throw in recycling on Boxing Day was brand new or not!

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