Friday, November 25, 2005

Meaningful Holiday Shopping Survey

Simplicity and Significance Top the Shopping List for the 2005 Holiday Season

Okay, as we all think about Black Friday Shopping and frugal choices, here's a survey that will give you a lot to chew on as you munch on Thanksgiving leftovers. Here is a shortened version of the actual release:

"With soaring gas prices and the rising cost of living, Americans are showing signs of financial anxiety about the coming holiday season. In fact, a surprisingly number of Americans say they are looking for gifts that encourage savings rather than spending.

A new poll from the Center for a New American Dream shows that more than three out of five Americans (62%) say they are planning to or considering giving family members gifts such as a savings bond or a piggy bank this year.

"American consumers are encouraged to spend. At the same time, they are being told to save money. This holiday season, a growing number are shopping for piggy banks and leaving their credit cards at home," says Betsy Taylor, President of the Center for a New American Dream, a non-profit group based in MD that helps Americans consume responsibly for a better world.

Concern about Materialism

Americans are concerned about finances but they're also worried about core values. More than 3 in 4 Americans wish that the December holidays were less materialistic and 87% believe the holidays should be more about family and caring for others rather than giving and receiving gifts.

"People are focusing on what really matters - financial security, relaxing time with family and friends, and reduced stress during the holiday season," says Taylor.

Only 28% of those polled said that it is necessary to spend a lot of money in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable holiday and nearly four out of five Americans surveyed said that they would like to have a more simplified holiday season this year.


The Center for a New American Dream has a variety of free resources for Americans who would like to have a simpler, debt-free holiday this year. The Cemter's website,, has suggestions for saving money, giving innovative, low-cost gifts and connecting with friends and family.

Visitors to have already downloaded over 58,000 free copies of the Center’s popular Simplify the Holidays brochure, (hard copies are available for $4 by calling 877-68-DREAM).


Here are a few alternative ways to save money on gifts this year other than putting it a piggy bank:

· Give the gift of time – design a gift certificate that offers babysitting, a home-cooked meal, a tennis lesson or a monthly lunch date for someone you love.

· Create a calendar of family photographs and artwork for relatives.

· Collect favorite recipes from aunts, grandparents and cousins and assemble them as a book of family recipes.

· Focus on fun rather than gifts. Host a skating party, an evening of board games, or a theme party. Make the gathering a potluck so nobody shoulders too much work but everyone enjoys scrumptious food.

· Kids generally demand at least one store-bought gift but consider giving time, skills, or homemade gifts as well. How about an afternoon of football with Dad and some other guys? Maybe a box of dress up clothes for a young child, purchased for less than $10 from the local thrift store? Perhaps an afternoon knitting lesson from a favorite Aunt or the promise of repainting a bedroom - in fire engine red - or whatever!

Poll Highlights

More than 3 in 5 Americans (62%) say they are going to give family members gifts this holiday season that encourage them to save money, such as savings bond or even a piggyback for a child.

Nearly all Americans (91%) say the cost of living has increased compared to last year, and more than 2 in 3 Americans blame the price of oil or gas (68%).

By a nearly 4-to-1 margin, more Americans say they will buy fewer (37%), not more 10%), holiday gifts this season.

About half (48%) say they will buy the same amount as last year.

More than 3 in 4 Americans (78%) wish that holidays were less materialistic.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans (87%) believe that holidays should be more about family and caring for others, not giving and receiving gifts.

Nearly 4 in 5 Americans (79%) DO NOT believe that it's necessary to spend a lot of money in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable holiday.

Nearly 3 in 4 Americans (74%) believe that the giving and receiving of gifts is awarded too much importance duringthe Holiday season.

More than 3 in 4 Americans (76%) say that kids are too materialistic and the holiday season just makes things worse.

This documents provides key findings from a census-balanced and representative telephone study of500 American adults conducted by Widmeyer Research and Polling for the Center for a New American Dream during the first week of November, 2005.

1 comment:

shinybluegrasshopper said...

Thanks for posting all these ideas! I put a couple on my site then found this much more complete list...thanks!