When did $700 gifts for Christmas become the norm?

Last week one of the main news’ headlines on News.com.au was about how a $700 gift for those living in Australia is becoming the norm for Christmas. I initially thought to myself: surely not, but it got my attention and so I read the whole article.

The article goes on to say how long gone are the days that Australians want a CD or a board game for Christmas, or even a $139 bike from Toys R Us. And instead, when people are asked as to, ‘what they would like for Christmas?’, more and more people tend to reply: an iPad or a Play Station or Thermomix. “Forget about giving that $50 gift. What the recipient really wants is more in the ball park of $700.“

And would you believe that at the same time the above article was on the web, I started receiving emails from Camera House – I don’t know why I’m getting them, as I can’t ever remember ever shopping there – and one email per day is coming to me listing the various possibilities of gifts for the 12 days of Christmas, and sure enough there is a $700 gift option for their so called ‘10th Day of Christmas: a Sony Camera for $698!

Anyway, this particular article in News.com.au was written by Social Researcher Dr Rebecca Huntley. And she goes on to conclude as to how affluent Australians have become, and at the same time very selective in their complaining. She says how Aussies regularly complain about the price of groceries or the price of petrol, but don’t think twice about very expensive gifts that we almost feel entitled to have, and especially in the area of personal electronic devices.

And why do I mention this? Well partly because the article spoke to me, and I’m guessing will speak to you too. We are very selective – well I am – in the things we complain about. It’s true; we do complain about the cost of groceries or petrol, or even our own church once again talking about money, and yet at the same time we very willingly spend large amounts of money on personal luxury items.

May we at TGS this Christmas, go against the flow of our society and be rich towards God in our giving over this holiday period, generous towards the needs of a small number of people within our own church family who are doing it tough, and let us be most, most grateful to God for blessing us with such affluence.

Trevor Saggers


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September 13, 2020