Great Expectations

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In affluent countries such as ours, it’s common for children to ask for quite a lot at Christmas. But do they ask for too much? Too often, Great Expectations does not refer to the classic Dickens novel.

The requests we make can, and probably often do, put our parents under financial pressure. Some children will think that you can never ask for too much at Christmas, but what strain does that put on the family purse?

A parent of a 6-year-old girl told YJA: “It is great to see them opening their presents on a Christmas morning but if you leave buying the presents until the last minute it gets very stressful and, yes, you feel that you are under pressure.”

Children, of course, ask for a lot of things at Christmas but is it getting out of hand? In contrast, one woman’s post on Twitter went viral: “I’m going to write a thread about the nicest gift I ever received, I was nine years old. I think it cost the person who gave it to me about £1.50.”

That tweet underlines that even the littlest things can make people happy and shows that we really don’t need a lot for Christmas.

Compare the above with a Daily Mail report on a much-criticised mother from the Isle of Man, who shared on Instagram a picture of a mountain of children’s presents that cost her around £1,500. In her defence, she said: ‘I start shopping in January and use every bargain, every sale I can, that’s how I do it, I shop all year round to make the pile as big as it is.”

Apparently, at Christmas it’s not unusual in the UK for a parent to spend over £700 on just one child, so imagine how much a bigger family might splash out? Now if you are good at maths you’ll quickly work that out.


Aimee and Sophie, Year 6

Burgh School

One Response to Great Expectations

  1. Freya December 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Well done girls, I can really see how thought through this article is.

    I can’t believe some parents spend £700 pound on just one child- imagine if they did that in my family with all four of my siblings! If you do the maths that would be £3,500 pound!

    Interesting article girls, keep up the excellent work!