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Last Updated: Friday December 05 2008 11:08 GMT

Is Christmas too expensive?

Shops in Vienna in Austria

A Christmas theme park in England is getting complaints because people who have visited it say it's not worth the entrance fee.

They all paid £25 to get into Lapland New Forest, but weren't impressed with what they saw once inside.

So does it cost too much now to enjoy Christmas?

Are things like buying presents and cards and going out to watch a pantomime too expensive.

Do you struggle with money at Christmas, or make sure you stretch your pocket money as far as possible?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"Yes, Christmas is a bit too expensive, but like people have said it's not about the presents, it's about family and friends and as long you have them, that's all you need."

Rachel, 10, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"Christmas is NOT a time to spend all of your money on presents and decorations. The only reason we have Christmas is to remember Jesus's birth. Anyway, if it wasn't for Jesus we wouldn't have Christmas and we wouldn't have any decorations. Also, having thousands of decorations is a waste of money because it turns into a competition in the end."

Sophia, 11, Cambridge, England

"It's silly that Christmas is commercialised. In year six at my school we have a Secret Santa. I do that with my family, too!"

Chloe, 11, England

"I think it doesn't matter how much presents cost, just the thought that's behind it."

Ann, 10, Somerset, England

"Way too expensive; parents are going from limb to limb for money that is needed."

Jack, 12, Gloucester, England

"I think that Christmas doesn't have to be expensive. You can buy simpler gifts for people, or even make your own. It's the thought that counts really, and you can make some really cute things like bead jewellery or customising old t-shirts to give to people."

Jane, 12, London, England

"I don't think that Christmas is too expensive. I love buying Christmas presents for my friends. And I earn my money by delivering papers, so it's my money. I love Christmas so much!"

Carys, 13, North Wales

"Christmas shouldn't be about presents and expensiveness; it should be about family. By showing children every year that they just get presents and it's a fun day to mess about they don't know the true meaning of Christmas."

Tammie, 13, Sydney, Australia

"I think lots of people have gone off the plot. Christmas is about giving, not receiving, and it's a very special religious festival for Christians. Also, you don't need to buy loads of stuff just to make you happy - just your family. You can also save the environment too, by making your own cards and presents."

Roxanne, 13, Hayes, England

"I am being very careful of what I choose for Christmas this year as I understand all the money issues. If there is something I like I will look at the price and compare it to something cheaper and just as nice. I just don't want my family to be stuck with bills and no money."

Sophie, 13, Birmingham, England

"I don't think it has to be expensive - just tell your family you aren't going to spend lots on them and organise a Secret Santa so that you don't have to buy lots of presents at school."

Florence, 11, Cambridge, England

"It's expensive if you want it to be. To cut Christmas cards, you can make homemade cards. For presents you can have them homemade, or get them in a sale."

Hayley, 12, USA

"I only think it's expensive if you fall into the trap of retailers and the media. It doesn't have to be expensive; it can be really fun without all of the fancy stuff. We should celebrate it for its true meaning, not this commercialised mess. We have to remember that Christmas happens next year and the year after that."

Britta, 14, New York, USA

"I think that it is way too expensive. My mum donates money to charity as Christmas presents for our family, because it's spending that money on helping people less fortunate than ourselves instead of buying a stupid present that we might not like or use."

Becky, 12, California, USA

"Christmas can be really expensive. I was glad to see Ricky's report and I hope lots of people wake up to these silly scams. It is Christmas, after all!"

Charlie, 12, Bedfordshire, England

"I don't think Christmas is too much because you can do things like Secret Santa so you only have to buy one present to save money."

Nicole, 12, Cumbria, England

"I do think Christmas does cost a lot because as well as all the presents, people buy decorations, there are electricity bills, and also the Christmas dinner and the tree. It must be very hard for some because of the credit crunch."

Lizzie, 13, Suffolk, England

"I just think that shops have taken advantage of Christmas to get themselves more money. Now all you hear about Christmas is the presents, and never about the true meaning of this time."

Nick, 12, England

"Yes, it does cost a lot of money when you buy a lot of things. You don't even need a Christmas tree. You don't anything to have a good time; all you really need are your family and friends."

Jessica, 9, Middlesex, England

"Well, yes, Christmas is expensive but I don't think we should complain. Shops can't really help it; they do need the money as well. It only comes once a year and we should enjoy it, not complain about it."

Sophie, 12, Sussex, England

"Christmas can be expensive but come on - it's your one chance a year to go wild!"

Georgia, 11, Essex, England

"I think Christmas is a great time, but when it comes to the credit crunch it gets everybody down in the dumps... but Christmas is about friends and family. You don't have to get them a present; just give them your love. But if you really want to just give them something, give them something little. Use all of the deals that are around or just spend about £3 to £5 on each person... you could even get a joint present for your mum and dad."

Lea, 12

"Christmas cards aren't expensive but all the new toys are, and the kids want the new toys so it is going to be expensive."

Sophie, 9, Kent, England

"Christmas is only expensive if you want it to be! Christmas is just meant to be about spending time with family - that doesn't cost anything!!"

Daniel, 11, Scotland

"I think that Christmas is getting too expensive and also all the worry about money is making people forget the real meaning of Christmas."

Emily, 10, Scotland

"It is getting out of hand. Christmas is not a time to get money; it is a time to be grateful for what you have got."

Connie, 12, Wales

"You don't need lots of money to have fun at Christmas; it's just when you have to buy presents and cards it gets a bit over the top. Big families struggle sometimes so that can cause problems. Also, some people have their birthdays in December or on Christmas Day and that means they can't have a party or as much as a person with a birthday in July! I enjoy Christmas but yes, Christmas can be expensive!! BUT remember Christmas is about Jesus's birthday - not ALL about presents!"

Ara, 10, Edinburgh, Scotland

"You don't HAVE to spend a lot of money at Christmas."

Lotte, 10, Essex, England

"I think it's down to people how much they spend so if they want to make it expensive, it's their choice."

Lottie, 12, England

"Christmas is far too expensive this year. Last year I had no problem at all buying pressies for my family; this year I had to borrow £1 off my best friend just to buy my brother a present!!! It's unbelievable."

Bethany, 10, Sussex, England

"Yes. But it's not all about the presents; it's about Jesus being born."

Marco, 11, London, England

"I think that it can be. But because of the credit crunch, in my family we've decided not to spend more than £5 on each person and to preferably make handmade stuff!! I made some really cool boxes using papier-maché for my cousins!!"

Ben, 13, France

"Yes, I think it is. But you do not need Christmas decorations to make you happy! You have got your family who love you."

Francesca, 11, Essex, England

"What really annoys me is the price of Christmas cards, something everyone has to buy. Even a small, plain card is about £3 now!"

Sarah, 12, Scotland

"I think Christmas is expensive if you make it expensive, it doesn't have to be to have a good time with your friends and family. You don't need to have a lot of money to be happy."

Beth, 14, St Helens, England

"I think Christmas cards are good prices but when it comes to presents they are expensive."

Melissa, 12, Scotland

"Christmas isn't really what it should be. People expect more so parents spend more. It is nice to get presents but it is a religious festival. I love Christmas and I like getting gifts but all most people think about is presents... not religion!!!"

Victoria, 11, Blackpool, England

"Christmas is bound to be expensive because of everything you have to buy, but at least everybody is happy."

Robyn, 12, Huddersfield, England

"I think it costs way too much. I need to buy gifts for everyone in my class AND my parents."

Corbett, 11, London, England

"I don't think Christmas is too expensive because you don't have to buy expensive presents for people. You can buy expensive presents for your close family but not everybody."

Jessica, 11, Norfolk, England

"I think it depends on what you actually buy and with the credit crunch you have to be really careful. But many people forget the true meaning of Christmas and think it's all about gifts and holidays."

Jess, 14, Wiltshire, England

"I love Christmas, it's my favourite time of year, but recently I've been noticing that prices have been rocketing. I've been buying presents for all my family and friends but I just don't have enough money for it all! I thought Christmas was meant to be about giving not making you go broke! I'll just have to stick to a very tight budget."

Laura, 12, Berkshire, England

"I think Christmas is getting too expensive because we get too many toys and games."

Verity, 7, England

"I think that Christmas is too expensive because if you want to buy a Christmas decoration they are quite expensive, but presents are just as much!!!"

Alice, 11, Lincolnshire, England

"I think Christmas is way too expensive. On your Christmas tree you put decorations, but when you go and buy them in the shops, they are £3.00 for one little bauble! I do like Christmas though."

Jennie, 12, Northamptonshire, England

"I don't think it's very expensive, because they do offers in most shops."

Elizabeth, 9, Hertfordshire, England

"I have just moved up to high school now and I have a load of friends, and I need to get them all a Christmas present but I don't have enough money."

Martha, 11, Staffordshire, England

"I think it is way too expensive. I have a very big family and it is hard to get someone what they want at a cheaper price. It all builds up. Christmas is way too expensive, but I love it."

Hollie, 13, Wiltshire, England

"Yes, this is due to the pressure on adults to buy expensive gifts. It should be about spending time with your family, not getting the biggest and the best presents."

Carmen, 11, Peterborough, England

"I think Christmas is not too expensive, unless you buy too many gifts."

Tom, 11, Hampshire, England

"I think Christmas might be a bit expensive, but it's not all about presents! It's also about family being together."

Daisy, 11, Spain

"I think that it is not TOO expensive, but it could be harder this year with the credit crunch. But I think it is not too expensive because you see loads of discounts."

Alexa, 10, Herefordshire

"Well maybe it does because our parents spend lots of money on us, then they have to buy more gifts for the rest of the family, plus with the credit crunch, it will be harder to get gifts."

Katie, 11, Warrington, England

"It shouldn't matter how expensive Christmas is, we should be celebrating the religious reason!!!"

Vicky, 12, Derbyshire, England

"I think the only reason Christmas is too expensive is because shops are charging too much for their products. Lower those prices!!!"

Nancy, 10, Warwickshire, England

"It's too expensive now for what you can get. People are so wrapped up in money and presents they forget what Christmas is really about."

Laura, 13, Kent, England

"Christmas is a time of giving so I don't care how much I spend."

Michael, 13, London, England

"I do think it costs more than it should do but sometimes if you look hard you find stuff which is cheap and cool!"

Olivia, 10, Yorkshire, England

"Christmas is not expensive if you save up for it. In January save up different pennies and you will be surprised at how much you save up!!!"

Jenny, 12, Wiltshire, England

"No, I normally just buy my friends some chocolate. It's pointless spending lots of money. Besides, Christmas isn't about the presents!"

Bethan, 14, Gloucester, England

"I think Christmas is so pricey. I think making home-made gifts is much better than going out and buying things!!!"

Emily, 12, London, England

"Yes IT IS. All the money I earn through the year just goes during two months. I'm the type of person who looks after their money and saves up, but I still end up with no money because shops raise prices at Christmas and everything is way too expensive. I can't take it. But I've got to be polite and give people presents."

Alice, 14, England

"Well, in the place I live, it is expensive. A Christmas tree is 20-26 manats. Manat is the type of money we use in Azerbaijan. But my family and I spend only 14 manats on Christmas."

Janfer, 8, Azerbaijan

"Yes, and it's my birthday soon so I can't have a big party."

Alexa, 9, London

"I think some people go over the top and spend too much, but if you're careful I think it's fine to splash out a bit and have a good time."

Anna, 12, Orpington, UK

"It is very expensive, but you should remember it is a time that only comes once a year, so we should make a big deal of it."

Georgia, 7, Kent, England

"I think it costs lots more than it did two or three years ago because there are more things now to buy. My mum and dad struggle to buy things for Christmas, they say: "we cannot afford it".

Christopher, 11, Manchester, England

"I don't think it's too expensive, if you have a strict budget."

Leila, 13, England

"Yes, it costs too much especially with the credit crunch."

Estella, 10, Berkshire, England

"I don't think that it should cost too much to enjoy Christmas as long as you have friends and/or family around you. But the Christmas tree and pressies cost as well, so I think it costs about £100."

Abigail, 13, Switzerland