16/11/2010 15:00 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Christmas Should Be A Time To Think Of Others, Say Most Parents

Just when you might have thought Christmas was getting just that bit too materialistic and commercialised, comes good news from Oxfam. Last week we covered the launch of Oxfam's first ever children's gift range and this week comes some heart-warming research from Oxfam: 71) of parents of young children (5-7 year-olds) believed their children would like to receive a Christmas gift that would actually help other less fortunate children around the world, according to the research carried out by YouGov.

Many of these parents also thought that Christmas should be less money-orientated, with four out of five (81) saying that the festive season is a time to think of those less fortunate than us.

Leading child expert Jean Gross, author of 'Psychology and Parenthood', commented: "Encouraging empathy and compassion in children from a young age builds their core social and emotional awareness skills, which can not only reduce aggression, depression and anti-social behaviour but develop resilience, optimism and self-worth.

"The new Oxfam Unwrapped kids' range is an ideal stepping stone for parents. The gifts are designed to help children feel connected with young people living in poverty and to open their eyes to different social issues, from health and education to the fact that girls in some parts of the world get less chance of an education than boys. Children receiving these gifts feel empowered about the role they can play in helping others and in the long-term can become better-rounded individuals."

Rick Lay, Oxfam Unwrapped manager said: "We saw that parents were starting to buy gifts from our Oxfam Unwrapped charity range for their children as well so went about creating a range designed just for them. There are children living in poverty all over the world who benefit hugely from these gifts, something as simple as playtime can help teach them about health through games and songs, while desk and chair sets give them access to an education which can change their lives forever.

"Opening presents and stockings is a big part of Christmas day for kids so toys definitely have their place, but hopefully charity gifts can be part of the mix."

Do you think children should think more about others less fortunate than themselves?
Do you think Christmas has become too materialistic?
Or do you think it's the one time in the year you and your family can spend and enjoy? Please give us your comments below.