A Different Christmas
According to a newspaper report in January 2021, spending over the preceding Christmas period was at an all-time low. Retail sales in Britain had staged only a weak recovery in December 2020, ending the worst year for high street consumer spending on record.
This year, 2021, sees a new problem. Empty supermarket shelves have hit the headlines because of supply problems: a shortage of HGV drivers due to low wages and problems obtaining licences, combined with the 'pingdemic' which has confined many workers to self-isolation. And now retailers are warning that it may be difficult to ensure supplies both of food and gifts this Christmas. Already some toys are in short supply.
So, what better time to review our Christmas budgets and decide what is really important? How about prioritising charitable giving, particularly to the homeless in the light of the growing refugee and environmental crises? See https://www.christmasgiving.net/what-is-cascaid and other resources on this website.
Saving Christmas This Year
Here's some news that really resonates with CASCaid. An article in the Church Times in November 2020, entitled 'How to save Christmas this year', suggested that we might achieve this by keeping Advent. Indeed we might, this year too. Why has it taken a pandemic to bring such thinking back into the papers? Some of us have been advocating it for a number of years now.
It's especially relevant these days, and at just £3.95 it might be worth its weight in gold this year.
Buy Nothing Day
The tide seems to be turning against Black Friday.
A move toward a national 'Buy Nothing Day' is gaining some traction instead. In the run-up to Black Friday (which this year occurs on 26 November), the media were full of warnings that not all the discounts advertised were as good as they might appear at first sight. And in France, there were reports that the government was making moves toward banning Black Friday altogether - although given the extent of online shopping that dominates the day, it is not altogether clear how this might be done.
In the meantime, more churches and Christian charities are advocating the 'Reverse Advent Calendar' scheme, whereby donors are encouraged to purchase items for their local food banks throughout the month of December. All these movements may help contribute toward CASCaid's aim of reducing personal debt while helping others, and helping the planet, at Christmas.