Christmas too commercial say Kiwis – then they go shopping

10 Dec 2019 by Gabriel Thomas, News Media Advisor
Christmas too commercial say Kiwis – then they go shopping

An overwhelming majority of people say they think Christmas is too commercial and people are too wasteful over the holidays, but they’re not holding back on the shopping!

World Vision has surveyed a thousand Australians and 320 New Zealanders to find out what they think about Christmas giving.

87% of the New Zealanders surveyed say giving to those who need it most is more in the spirit of Christmas. 86% say people are too wasteful at Christmas and 81% say Christmas has become too commercial.

But their actions aren’t backing up those views. Figures from Stats NZ show there continues to be a huge peak in spending every December, and each of those peaks is higher than the last.

And despite many people saying the best gifts they receive are handmade, only half of those we surveyed have ever given an ethical gift and only three in 10 say they have received one.

Here at World Vision we think we have the answer – gifts that are thoughtful, don’t harm the environment, contribute to those most in need, and are fun! 

From goats and vege gardens, to school books and clean water, each of our Smiles gifts brings life-changing aid to communities in need around the world. You can give someone a great gift without adding to the commercialisation and waste we know you don’t like.

And for that little bit of extra, this year you can get a limited-edition Karen Walker-designed Christmas card to accompany your gift.

We also asked people about the best and worst gifts they have ever received. Again, the results show some contradiction. Many people thought the best things ever were time with family, handmade things and experiences. But for every one of those there was someone who recalled getting jewellery, clothes, money or phones.

When it came to the worst gifts, the biggest gripes were cheap junk, expired chocolate and re-gifts. 

Gabriel Thomas, News Media Advisor, World Vision New Zealand  |  ‚Äč+64 21 360 098

Our favourite survey responses:
Best gift ever
  • Behind the scenes at the zoo – feeding penguins and encounters with cheetahs and tigers
  • The birth of my first son!
  • Marrying my best friend
  • A horse, a dog, or a cat 
  • Homemade things – a Christmas cake, a cookbook or a calendar with pics of the grandkids
Worst gift ever
  • A toilet brush
  • Hair gel (I’m bald)
  • A unicorn onesie that didn’t fit (no indication whether if it did fit it would have been a best present!)
  • A stick of salami

Most popular survey responses:
Best gift ever
  • Anything handmade
  • Time with family/kids
  • Money or vouchers
  • Gadgets
Worst gift ever
  • Socks, undies, soap
  • Expired chocolate