She Can Prosper, a women’s initiative that is helping women to become more financially independent, discusses how the value of family and friends is more important than presents this year.

Christmas is a time for joy (mistletoe and wine) and is one of the most generous times of the year. Spending in 2019 reached £20 billion over the festive period, with £19 million on gifts alone. An astonishing extra £719 per household is spent in December purely on Christmas-related goods.

Even though it can be a time for joy, many people feel the pressure to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas and often this involves spending more than they have, with research outlining that 30% of people in the UK acquire debt due to overspending with the total figure standing at £3.5 billion in 2019. It is suggested that those who use a credit card on Christmas spend the next seven and a half months paying it back.

It is also worth noting that the additional food waste from Christmas is equivalent of more than 4 million Christmas meals, according to a report from Love Food Hate Waste, this equates to 17.2m sprouts, 12m carrots and 7.4m mince pies.

The Value of Presence

Since the start of the pandemic, many people have found themselves in difficult financial situations and employment rates are continuously on the rise. With the hardship of 2020 many people will still feel the need to put pressure on themselves to deliver an ‘amazing’ Christmas, treating friends and family.

If 2020 has taught anything it should be to appreciate the little things such as being in the presence of those we care for and focusing on the parts of life that truly matter and as the saying goes the best things in life are free. Before the government announcement, people were worried if they were able to see their family over the festive period, but it never crossed their minds that they would be losing out on presents, understanding that seeing your family is the gift that is truly priceless.

Make this year the year of happiness, self-investment and truly focusing on building our connections with friends and family, whether this is in person or not. Let’s bring the true meaning of Christmas back where communities join and truly appreciate one another.

All of us have had to make comprises this year, but this has resulted in us spending more time enjoying the simple things in life. Let’s remember this as we head towards the busy Christmas period.

Let’s make Christmas 2020 all about enjoying the presence of our families rather than our presents.