the true meaning of christmas?

i got an email including the following poll results. well, at least we're aware of our problems...and that's the first step to recovery.

"my name is justin and i'm a stuff-a-holic."

Gift Giving vs. Gift Getting

  • 40% of those surveyed felt pressured to buy presents for the sake of giving a gift.
  • 85% of Americans said they like spending time with friends and family a lot, while only 17% placed the same priority on getting lots of presents.

Great Gifts Don't Have to Be Expensive

  • 82% of Americans surveyed would rather have a photo album of times shared growing up than a store-bought gift.


  • 92% felt that Americans spend more money than they can afford to during the holidays.
  • 64% would personally spend less money during the holidays if their family would make changes.


  • 47% of all those surveyed reported going into debt last holiday season. Of those, more than one in five was still paying off that debt eleven months later.


  • One out of every three hours spent during the holiday season was devoted to doing things that made survey respondents feel stressed or uncomfortable.

Advertising Aimed at Kids, Family Pressures, Add to the Problem

  • 63% said advertising aimed at kids causes Americans to spend more than they can afford on the holidays.
  • 49% felt pressure from family to overextend financially during the holidays.

Commercialized Holiday Takes its Toll on the Environment

  • 86% said that the commercialization of the holidays leads to excessive packaging and trash, causing environmental damage.
  • 88% didn't think enough people are paying attention to the problem.

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* Poll Commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream and conducted on November 4-5, 1998 by EDK Associates of New York. The survey was administered by phone to 800 people nationwide. Findings from the survey have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent with a 95% level of confidence.

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