independent

Tuesday 21 February 2017

It's the most 'expensive' time of the year

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Published 10/12/2016 | 00:00

It is the 'magical' Christmas dream that convinces impressionable people to shell out money they don't have in order to buy into this picture perfect image
It is the 'magical' Christmas dream that convinces impressionable people to shell out money they don't have in order to buy into this picture perfect image

It's the most wonderful time of the year and boy, do we know how to spend to celebrate it.

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The Christmas ads are at full throttle and everywhere you look someone is trying to sell something. Already, the shops are full of customers keen to tick off their lists and as for car parking - don't even think about it.

This time of year brings out the panic in all of us and it seems that every year, the festivities start earlier and earlier.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year but for many it brings terrible pressure. Pressure to spend money they don't have and to ensure that they manage to buy everything that they feel they need, in order to make Christmas special.

It is estimated that Irish households will spend on average €2,500 on Christmas, to include food and drink, gifts and decorations.

This is a huge amount of money and while it is spent over a number of weeks, there will be some people who will spend this cash whether they can afford it or not.

People who cannot afford to will splurge on extravagant gifts bought on credit or through money lenders, and worry about paying it back in January.

Starting 2017 saddled with debt is the worst possible outcome and would put a dampener on any Christmas.

However, it is the 'magical' Christmas dream that convinces impressionable people to shell out money they don't have in order to buy into this picture perfect image.

These days, we all seem to expect so much and in reality, Christmas is just one single day. There is nothing wrong with treating loved ones or picking up some special purchases to celebrate the festive season, but it should be affordable, and not lead to a bleak start to the new year, worrying about how to pay for all the unnecessary goods that you have bought.

We are barely out of the recession (and with some people not feeling any improvement at all), and droves of cars are once again heading over the border to Northern Ireland filling their trolleys, just like in the good old days.

It's great to see people with some extra money to spend but it's a shame they aren't spending it to support Irish companies and jobs.

While it is certainly nice to embrace the spirit of the season let's not loose the run of ourselves.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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