Christmas is too materialistic, say Scots

(PA)

Over 80 per cent of Scottish people say Christmas has become too materialistic, according to new research.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund surveyed over 1,200 Scots, and found that 82% agreed or strongly agreed that 'Christmas has become too materialistic'.

That figure rose to 91% among those aged over 55.

Just over half of those questioned (51%) said that the festive period should be about helping those less fortunate rather than focussing on ourselves.

The survey results have been published as SCIAF launches its ethical Real Gifts catalogue to provide practical aid to those in some of the poorest areas of the world.

Upon purchasing a Real Gift, the buyer receives a gift card and fridge magnet to pass on to their friend or family member which explains the present that has been bought on their behalf, such as safe drinking water or essential medicines for families across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

SCIAF's Education and Fundraising Manager Ann Ward said: "Everyone loves to receive a nice present at Christmas but sometimes we forget it is a time to spread joy rather than just spread the cash. SCIAF wants to offer a better way of giving - our Real Gifts go directly to helping people in need in a developing country."

One such person is Chas Srah, a Cambodian who was given pigs as part of the Real Gifts project.

He explains the difference this has made to his family's lives: "I breed my pigs and sell the piglets for 100,000 rials (£15) each. The additional income has raised us out of poverty," he says.

"We eat much better than we did before [and] we have spare cash to buy books and uniforms for the children to go to school."

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