Half a million Australian children won't get any gifts this year at Christmas. Adults will be wracked with the guilt of going into debt, and the majority of people will know someone who'll be lonely on December 25.
For a day of celebration, Christmas has a lot to answer for.
The Salvation Army's annual survey into Christmas attitudes found 45 percent of Australians described the day as a "financial nightmare", 10 percent would be in debt after the day and 15 percent needed to sell possessions to meet the cost of food and gifts.
They can't make Christmas different to any other day because they have nothing to give to their children or no way of providing a special meal.Paul Moulds
Auburn director of service Paul Moulds told The Huffington Post Australia the numbers were likely worse in poorer areas.
"This is a Roy Morgan survey of random Australians but if you went into the areas where people are struggling, I'm sure you would find it's much worse," he said.
"For that subset, they can't make Christmas different to any other day because they have nothing to give to their children or no way of providing a special meal."
Has Christmas strayed from a day of family to become an excuse for excess at any cost?
"It's tough because Christmas is part of our culture and it's a time to buy something special for the ones you love, but maybe the expectation of what that gift is has been fuelled by our consumer culture. How do you address that? Because businesses rely on Christmas spending to an extent to push the economy along. I guess it's more that we need to come together as a community and reflect on what's important on Christmas."
"One thing the survey shows is that a lot of people know someone who'll be lonely on Christmas day, maybe it's because they've had someone close to them die in the last year, maybe their family lives far away, one thing we see in Auburn is there is an influx of asylum seekers and refugees whose families aren't here.
"Instead of giving them some food to take back to their apartment and eat alone, we'll be holding a Christmas lunch for them."
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How to bring joy back into Christmas
If money is tight, instead of buying a gift for every family member, arrange a Secret Santa where everyone buys one gift for a pre-determined person.
The statistics say you'll know someone who will be lonely on Christmas Day, invite them over, even if it's just for part of the day.
Instead of buying seasonal meats like Christmas hams, keep a look-out now for discounted chickens and roasts to freeze until December 25.
Make sure older people in your life are able to get to Christmas celebrations -- you may need to pick them up.
If you have no one to spend Christmas with, get along to a Salvation Army lunch -- you could even volunteer.
If money is not an issue for you, buy a gift to donate to someone less fortunate.