SOAP BOX: Is it time we cut back on Christmas spending?
IT'S time to get the wallets out; Christmas is coming.
While I normally don't even think about buying gifts until about December 20 (by which time it's too late to do anything but panic buy), a headline I read yesterday about how much we spend at Christmas brought it to the front of my mind.
When I read that collectively Australians will spend more than $44 billion this Christmas, I nearly fell off my chair.
About 24 million people spend $44 billion, just on Christmas gifts and preparations?
It works out to $1833 per person, if my maths is correct.
Doesn't sound like that much really, but when you take into account more than 18% of the 24 million people in the country are under 15 years old and probably unlikely to spend much, if anything, that average number goes up.
We spend an astronomical amount on celebrating Christmas every year.
While it might be the big boost many retailers need each year to get them over the line, it seems absurd to spend so much, especially when you consider more than half the people you give gifts to will get rid of them.
So why waste money on buying gifts that the receiver isn't going to like and won't keep?
Instead of giving a toiletries pack that no one is ever going to use, could we conceivably just not buy that person something?
No. Of course not. Getting no gift is much worse than getting a gift you don't like and could even re-gift or sell on.
What's the solution then? Do we keep going around and around?
It certainly makes the retail goose fat but does it make us happy?