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19 November 2016, 08:22
The majority of Scots believe Christmas has become too materialistic and they would prefer money to be donated to someone in need, according to a survey.
The results of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund's poll were released to mark the launch of its Christmas Real Gifts appeal, which offers ethical donations to help some of the poorest people in the world.
Analysis shows 83% of people believe Christmas has become too materialistic, with more than half of respondents (51%) saying they would be happier if someone buying them a present instead helps someone in need.
Almost a quarter of those surveyed (24%) also said they received too many gifts last Christmas.
The Scotland-wide survey, conducted between November 3 and 7, quizzed 1,002 people who expect to spend between £101 and £500 on presents over Christmas, with a £276 average spend.
The charity said a small fraction of this sum could make a huge difference to families affected by war, hunger and poverty worldwide.
Lifesaving emergency gifts suggested by the charity include a shelter for a homeless family for £32, chickens to provide eggs for £14, or a gift costing £26 to help send a child to school. The cash goes towards projects providing help to thousands of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Sciaf director Alistair Dutton said: "We all know that in wealthy countries like Scotland, Christmas has become too materialistic.
"As we approach the festive season, it's encouraging to learn that so many people feel they receive too many gifts and would be happy for the money to be used to help someone in need in a poor country rather than receive a Christmas present.
"In the run-up to Christmas we should remember thousands of families around the world are living on a knife-edge as a result of poverty, hunger, war and natural disasters.''