Hot Holiday Gift For Kids This Year? - A Piggy Bank, Say Fed Up Americans

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Money and Core Values

Materialism, high cost of living has public focusing on more meaningful Holiday

With soaring gas prices and the rising cost of living, Americans are showing signs of financial anxiety about the coming holiday season. In fact, a surprisingly number of Americans say they are looking for gifts that encourage savings rather than spending. A new poll from the Center for a New American Dream shows that more than three out of five Americans (62%) say they are planning to or considering giving family members gifts such as a savings bond or a piggy bank this year. The poll was conducted for the Center for a New American Dream by Widmeyer Research and Polling.

As the 2005 holiday season approaches, the rising cost of living is the number one concern of Americans. More than 9 out of 10 say the cost of living has increased compared to last year, and more than 2 in 3 of those surveyed blame the price of oil or gas. Americans are looking for gifts to give that will allow them to save money for the future and avoid the excessive spending and debt associated with the holidays.

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"American consumers are encouraged to spend. At the same time, they are being told to save money. This holiday season, a growing number are shopping for piggy banks and leaving their credit cards at home," says Betsy Taylor, President of the Center for a New American Dream,a non-profit group based in Maryland that helps Americans consume responsibly for a better world.

Americans are concerned about finances but they're also worried about core values. More than 3 in 4 Americans wish that the December holidays were less materialistic and 87% believe the holidays should be more about family and caring for others rather than giving and receiving gifts. "People are focusing on what really matters - financial security, relaxing time with family and friends, and reduced stress during the holiday season," says Taylor. Only 28% of those polled said that it is necessary to spend a lot of money in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable holiday and nearly four out of five Americans surveyed said that they would like to have a more simplified holiday season this year.

The Center for a New American Dream has a variety of free resources for Americans who would like to have a simpler, debt-free holiday this year. The Cemter's website, www.newdream.org, has suggestions for saving money, giving innovative, low-cost gifts and connecting with friends and family. Visitors to www.newdream.org">www.newdream.org have already downloaded over 58,000 free copies of the Center's popular Simplify the Holidays brochure, (hard copies are available for $4 by calling 877-68-DREAM).

Here are a few alternative ways to save money on gifts this year other than putting it a piggy bank:

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