MoneySuperMarket presents the following figures to illustrate how commercialised and consumerist Christmas has become to us. They state that spending is set to exceed £18 billion this year with Brits splashing out an average of £397 per person on the cost of Christmas.
This level of spending does come at a price, with 30% stating they will have to borrow money to cover the cost, 23% will use a credit card to pay for presents, food and other festive costs, and 8% will dip into their overdraft. 4% will need to borrow money from their family or friends, and 3% will require a loan. 33% will rely on their savings, while 29% will use money they’ve been putting aside especially to pay for the festive season.
On top of all this there are those still feeling the financial effects from last Christmas. 28% spent more on Christmas last year than they had put aside, and as a result, one in seven (15%) went into debt. Those who are still paying off their Christmas debt owe an average of £201 each – substantially more than last year when people owed an average of £182 from overspending the previous festive season.
How far removed is all this from the real reason for the season? Luke 2:10-11 says, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
As we celebrate Christmas, may our focus be on the Christ and not consumption or consumerism which has sent Jesus out of the story altogether and blinded us to the wonderful free gift that salvation is!
Have a great Christmas.
Your friend and Pastor