The Christmas spend for those of us living in the UK this year is set to total more than £22 billion. To put that in context, that is more than the GDP of Uganda this year.
Put simply, we spend more on our Christmas celebrations than what the whole of this country earns in a year – and Uganda is not a small country.
When you break down that £22 billion figure, it works out as each household spending an average of £821. It’s a truth we’d prefer to ignore – that the presents, the snacks, the Christmas drinks and office parties – they add up to a substantial figure.
And it makes you wonder, what message are we giving when we spend that money?
If you asked people individually, most of us would say that we care more about the human beings living in poor countries than we do about having a luxurious Christmas. But perhaps our spending tells a different story.
The truth is, if just £1 billion of the £22 billion we spend this Christmas was invested in ethical causes, it would make a huge difference to those living in poverty. If we just made sure that 1 in every 20 of the pounds we spend on Christmas gifts and Christmas food went towards supporting fair trade – we would make a huge difference.
So perhaps the challenge shouldn’t be to spend less this Christmas, but simply to spend right?
And with Traidcraft guaranteeing a pre-Christmas delivery for all orders placed before noon on Thursday 22nd December, it’s not too late to tell a better story with your shopping.