Over-the-top Christmas is unnecessary, says Archbishop

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin WelbyAP

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged people not to give into the temptation to go overboard at Christmas and instead concentrate on the things that really matter.

Speaking to ITV, Archbishop Justin Welby said the pressure to put on the perfect Christmas was "absurd".

He warned that buying expensive Christmas gifts could strain relationships if they left people struggling financially.

"The secular over-the-topness, everything you have to have, new clothes you have to have, new this, new that, new the other, is ridiculous, it shouldn't happen," he said.

"It puts pressure on relationships because when you're short of money you argue. You get cross with your kids more easily, it spoils life."

However, he conceded that telling people not to splurge this Christmas would have little effect.

Instead he advised people to practise a spirit of generosity towards one another.

"Giving at Christmas reflects the generosity of God. So be generous in a way that shows love and affection rather than trying to buy love and affection," he said.

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