World Vision

World Vision

December 18, 2009 07:30 ET

Changing Conditions, Changing Traditions: Economic Concerns Have 58 Per Cent of Canadians Re-Evaluating Christmas Spending

Thirty-one per cent of Canadians strongly agree they'd prefer a meaningful gift that would help someone else

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2009) - The wavering economic landscape will be forcing many Canadians to cut back on holiday gift spending this year according to a new Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by World Vision. Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians say that changes in the economy have caused them to re-evaluate this year's Christmas spending or traditions. Among those polled, nearly one half (47 per cent) indicate that they have a smaller budget designated for holiday-related spending.

Almost one quarter of those working on a smaller budget said they plan to save by sticking to a spending limit, drawing names for gifts, or simply staying home to save money. Although many Canadians are spending less on themselves and their loved ones, they are still generous givers when it comes to those who are less fortunate.

One out of three Canadians (31 per cent) - roughly 7.5 million adult Canadians - "strongly agree" that they'd prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else, rather than receiving another traditional holiday gift like a pair of socks or a sweater.

"Despite concerns that people will be clinching their wallets a little tighter, we are seeing an increase in our donations with our Christmas gift catalogue," says Caroline Riseboro, director of Specialized Marketing. "As people continue to cut back on their Christmas spending, many understand that children and families living in developing countries are counting on our generosity, especially during this time of year."

Now in its ninth year, the World Vision Gift Catalogue offers creative gift alternatives at all price points, such as livestock, medicine and school supplies, which help children and their families in developing countries. Some of the bestsellers from the catalogue include everything from warm clothes for children to goats, emergency nutrition kits and school supplies.

"This year it seems that many are following the idea that it is better to give than receive," says Riseboro. "Our overall revenue for the Christmas catalogue campaign is up by five per cent from this time last year. Donations like these really help to reinforce that our donors understand the need to help the children and families we serve."

World Vision hopes to raise $18.5 million through the catalogue campaign. Last Christmas, more than 92,000 Canadians bought 245,000 items from the catalogue, benefiting people in more than 45 countries.

To view the World Vision Christmas gift catalogue visit or call 1-800-844-7993

About World Vision:

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit

Contact Information

  • For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
    World Vision
    Karen Flores
    905-565-6200 ext. 3497
    416-277-5563 (cell)