Christmas shopping – how much is too much?
Here’s a quiz: This Christmas season, when did Black Friday sales begin?
Thursday. That seems crazy to some.
“Thanksgiving should be about spending time with your family,” said senior Ben Gifford.
Many companies opened their doors for Black Friday this year a day early on Thanksgiving Thursday, a national holiday reserved for spending time with family and celebrating traditions and a holiday to give thanks and appreciation for the things people have. Some, like Gifford believe that Thanksgiving can ruin both Christmas and Thanksgiving.
“Nobody needs to go out after eating with their family and nobody needs to be working either,” Gifford said. “Thanksgiving should be about spending time with your family.”
Thirty-nine percent of consumers shopped for Christmas in November in 2011 according to Smartfamilyfinance.com. A report from eMarketer predicts that online shopping will go up 17 percent this holiday season. This is because many feel pressured into buying gifts, especially when they can buy them on sale, a sale that you can’t get in the stores. (Why pass up on such a good deal, even though the product is still expensive?) Many have the mindset that even if a product is expensive, if it’s on sale then it is worth it.
This year, a survey from the University of St. Thomas suggests that shoppers are more enthusiastic and ready to go. The survey forecasts a 3.5 percent increase with an estimated $801 that will be spent on Christmas this year, per adult American. Though not everybody will break the bank in Christmas.
“I just buy food for everyone,” said Eric Bejarano. “It’s cheap and everyone likes it.”
Others spend more time finding the perfect gift than worrying about the price.
“I don’t feel the pressure of buying expensive gifts,” said junior Peter Webster. “It depends on who the gifts are for, [and sometimes] I feel pressure of buying the right gift.”
In 2012, $52 billion was spent on holiday shopping according to Statistic Brain. Just on Christmas. Just on gifts. Even if a fraction of that money was donated, $1 million, it could make a difference. Through the World Vision program supported by Minnehaha’s international service project, $1 million would provide 333 hand-drilled wells to African villages in need.
A common saying is that “the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of giving.” Many people just enjoy Christmas for the presents. So what exactly is the best gift?
“For any occasion, the best gifts are the thoughtful ones,” freshman Sierra Takushi said. “It’s the thought that counts but gifts do require money sometimes.”