Canadians are forgetting the true meaning of Christmas: survey

Dec 6 2016, 7:06 pm

It’s no secret that 2016 has been rough.

From humanitarian emergencies to unpredictable political events, the world has seen a lot of conflict this year.

But according to a new Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of UNICEF Canada, Canadians still want to spread the spirit of giving back this holiday season.

“As 2016 comes to a close, many of us are still trying to come to grips with everything that’s happened. From the relentless conflict in Syria to the earthquake in Ecuador and so much in between, it’s been a tumultuous year,” said Meg French, UNICEF Canada’s Chief Program Officer, in a release.

“However, renowned for their generosity, Canadians are looking for ways to make a difference this holiday season and to give back to those less fortunate.”

The online survey took a sample of 1,019 Canadians. Over 80% of those who responded believe Canadians are forgetting the true meaning of the holiday season. As a result, more Canadians want to contribute their time and effort to show they care about global issues.

One-third of Canadians said that if they could address one global issue it would be child poverty.

Canadians care less about consumerism

The survey also found that nearly 75% of Canadians find that they buy gifts for people who actually don’t need anything and 23% said they end up throwing away some of the gifts they get each year.

“Between the desire to give back and the excess in consumerism that we see during the holidays, many Canadians are looking for ways to show their loved ones they care without being wasteful,” said Deena Shaw of UNICEF.

According to Shaw, Survival Gifts are one way Canadians are trying to help those in need. The gifts can be purchased from UNICEF and contain vital medical supplies for children in need. In 2015, Canadians purchased nearly 10-million Survival Gifts.

Canadians care about family during the holidays

The survey also found that the majority of Canadians are looking forward to spending time with their families this holiday season, followed by eating meals and treats.

Nearly 82% of respondents also said that donating to charities to help children in need was also a priority and something that brings them joy during the holidays.

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