Christmas - a time for giving [21.12.06]
“The best thing kids can get from their parents at Christmas is time,” says Lauren Cundall, Youth Services Team Leader
for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).
“So often parents buy into the trap of thinking that it is better to show their love by spending more money and less
time on their children. The added stress of Christmas shopping, hire purchases, bills and credit card statements result
in a number of people trying to get the extra money at the pokies,” says Ms Cundall.
“It is an unfortunate but much too common case, where people see gambling as a viable option to get themselves out of
their social circumstances, and often end up in a worse financial position than they are already in. Then, the cycle
begins again: parents try to win back their losses, there is no money for food, families rely on foodbanks, and children
go without,” she says.
“This Christmas we are encouraging people to save themselves the expense and stress of the season, and make home-made
gifts, or give vouchers to spend time with each other. There is no price on enjoying the great outdoors or enjoying this
special time with your family,” she says.
The Whangarei Gambling Action Group also acknowledge the stress of Christmas, and have released a statement “Forget
about the Bling, Do the Family Thing” which suggests that instead of material gifts, focus on those things that come at
no financial cost but are often the greatest gifts – time spent with family reading bedroom stories, the promise of an
afternoon of building sandcastles at the beach, a shared meal with the television turned off.
“It’s a great message. Give the gift of family: share a meal, have a laugh, create memories – the ultimate Christmas