Should we Ditch the Christmas Wish list?

Not usually controversial, the Mothers’ Union is calling on parents to ditch the Christmas list for their children. This ties in with them  launching Labelled for Life, its new guide on how to deal with the commercial influences on family life.

santy shabby chic

The Mothers’ Union commissioned a survey into Christmas pressures on parents which shows that 72% of parents have bought their children a gift that was on their Christmas list which they really couldn’t afford. An identical number (72%) of parents have worried about receiving their bank and credit card statements in January. In addition, 46% of parents have taken out a loan, or got themselves into financial difficulty to give the family a good Christmas.

“The pressure this brings to bear on family relationships and happiness is enormous” said Reg Bailey, chief executive of Mothers’ Union, “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”

Size Matters

Size seems to matter in the quest to give the kids a good Christmas: 84% of parents have bought their children extra Christmas presents at the last minute because they didn’t think the pile looked big enough.

Pressure from All Sides

“Our findings show that an overwhelming 89% of parents believe that Christmas is too commercialised, and 83% feel that for most children in the UK, Christmas is about the joy of receiving rather than the joy of giving. Our role, as Mothers’ Union, is to speak up for parents asking for industry and government to hear their concerns, and to help support and equip families to help them manage the commercial pressures they face, particularly in these economically difficult times.”

About Labelled for Life

Labelled for Life is the latest tool in the Mothers’ Union’s Bye Buy Childhood Campaign, which aims to empower families to challenge the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood through positive action. The guide explains how marketing is aimed at children, gives practical ways to manage commercial influences on the family, outlines codes and regulations governing marketing to children and offers suggestions on taking further action to end commercialisation of childhood. It is available from the Mothers’ Union at a cost of £2 and is non profit making. To obtain a copy call 020 7222 5533, or email

Well said The Mother’s Union!!

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