Christmas, an annual festival celebrated by Christians around the world to honour the birth of Jesus Christ. However due to secularisation of our society, this religious celebration has expanded and for some become a consumerist festival. Gift giving during Christmas has been around for centuries and has become an important aspect of modern day Christmas, thanks to the traditions associated with St Nicholas and the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which were given to the baby Jesus by the ‘Three Wise Men’.

On average a Brit will spend approximately £350 on presents with retailers this year starting sales earlier than ever before, 5th November 2015, in hopes of boosting this figure! The reason that the sales climax around the Christmas season is due to the fact that approximately 30% of UK consumers don’t usually seem to worry about their spending at this time of Year or the sensible ones after learning from previous mistakes and debts some customers have saved money from the year to be able to spend such extravagantly!

But why spend so much around Christmas you ask? Dr Amanda Gummer, a child psychologist thinks it may be because of guilt;, ‘Working parents may feel that buying lots of presents justifies the time spent working and away from their family, whereas stay at home parents meanwhile may feel the need to compete and not want their child to suffer in comparison to others.’

With an opposing view given to me by a local working mother, she thinks it might actually be owed to pester power! ‘Around Christmas it is common to see kids ask for toys by simply stating it’s Christmas, if the parents refuse the child will ask a couple more times and if the parents see it’s on sale they usually end up buying it. It’s gone to such an extent that we’ve all seen some children asking, “Are you not buying it for me because you don’t love me?” This new generation of children seem to think the more you spend on them the more love you have.’

By Zahraa Choudhury, Ursuline High School