The average Brit spends around £870 a year for Christmas.

This includes gifts, food, drinks, decorations, parties etc. Christmas decorations are put up way before the festive begins. This year, you could see all corners of Woolwich displaying Christmas products already in the middle of November; Christmas trees, Christmas gifts, Christmas turkeys, Christmas everything. The red ‘CHRISTMAS SALE NOW!’ signs, were already beginning to show themselves and residents are being pulled in to the magic of Christmas sales. As a large sum of money, from loans and savings, is constantly being spent in a 'useless manner', many start believing that Christmas is only being advertised by companies for their own benefits, and is not being celebrated for the true meaning. 

Mr Chandra, a local resident in Woolwich, gave his positive view on the matter. “I think starting all of this early is a way to keep people moving. It engages people in the festivity of Christmas and encourages people to step outside of their winter homes and get into the spirits.” He also believed that the sales and products around Christmas time “increases the economic growth” and therefore is “useful for sellers and customers.

While all looks jolly on the outside, most are not aware of the surprising harshness which Christmas also brings. Charities and organisations, such as Samaritans, believe that suicide rates are higher at Christmas period than any other time of the year. In addition, some people feel pressured to enter the early Christmas party spirit, and family conflicts increase. While many believe this to be a myth only, some studies have proved this wrong. A study conducted in 2014 in Queensland, Australia found a significant increase in suicides on Christmas eve and New Years Day.

There are many different and contrasting views on whether Christmas is truly only a business product and the cause of family conflicts. There are equally strong arguments agreeing and disagreeing, but what are your views on this controversial topic? Do you also believe in Christmas being sold only for businesses, or do you think Christmas has not lost its fesitivity?

Ursula Karki

Eltham Hill School