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Image: © The Irish Labour Party via Flickr

Want to know the economics of Xmas Jumper Day?

It’s a little woolly*.

On Christmas Jumper Day, Brits are encouraged to dress up in their most festive / tackiest jumper to raise money for charity.

What it means: Since Bridget Jones first meet her very own Mr. Darcy wearing a reindeer-spotted number, British people have been super-keen on donning silly Christmas jumpers. In 2012, the charity Save the Children saw an opportunity to use the trend to encourage donations, and set up Christmas Jumper Day. Rules: wear a Christmas jumper, donate £2. The event has raised £17 million.

For most (though not all) people, having charities around is a good thing which mean more vulnerable people are helped out and looked after than otherwise would be. And fundraising days are good at getting people to donate because we’re more likely to cough up cash if we see people around us doing it too.

But not everyone is a fan of Christmas Jumper Day. For one, making it a “Christmas” event might make Brits who don’t celebrate Christmas feel excluded or pressured into purchasing stuff themed with a holiday they don’t identify with. That’s particularly not good considering a lot of workplaces overtly support Christmas Jumper Day. Making staff feel left out is not generally the best way to make them happy and hard-working employees.

Other people point out that the event puts less money into charity’s pockets than it does into the shops that sell Christmas jumpers, which each cost £10-£100. That’s an extra strain on people’s purse before the already-expensive holidays (14 percent of Brits take out payday loans for Christmas costs). And from an environmental standpoint, encouraging people to buy something which will only be worn once or twice is often considered irresponsible.

*No, we’re not even vaguely sorry for how bad that pun was. It’s nearly Christmas. Stop being a Grinch.

Read our explainer on consumer choice theory.

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Reader Comments

  • WhereAreTheVikings

    What a terrible, terrible shame. Western Civilization nurtured capitalism, and now capitalism is destroying it. And these young people seem to welcome the invasion of their homeland. The media and schools have been very efficient in wiping out all traces of blood and soil.

    • prollawalllynotahumanoid

      Capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s corrupt politicians taking bribes and kickbacks from Globalists and the Chinese.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        Maybe I should have said crony capitalism. Although Italians importing Chinese to make “Italian leather” shoes is not crony capitalism. It is capitalism, pure and simple.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          That would be crony capitalism and globalism combined. They aren’t concerned with the affect their policies have upon their citizens, the health and welfare of their society and culture or their economy. What it isn’t is fair-free trade to further national interests.

          • WhereAreTheVikings

            I’ve always seen them as one and the same, but perhaps they need to be named individually, just to bring home the point.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        But now that travel is so easy and borders are virtually down through H1bs and the like, theoretically you can’t blame capitalists for the pursuit of cheaper labor, although I do heartily blame them not being more patriotic than that. Perhaps the emerging nationalism will force them to voluntarily do what they should have morally been doing all along, and that is employing business practices that preserve their countries and nationalities. The government should be doing everything it can to encourage that, to the extent that small government should do anything but guard the borders and strictly, drastically, limit immigration.

      • Henry Lam

        It is China with its corrupted mindset affecting the world.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          No it is not. Capitalism is the fairest and least corrupt system of all.

          Socialism and communism is based on authoritarianism, coercion and police intimidation. It has and always will be rife with criminality, bribes and kickbacks.

          Corruption can be anywhere but it is the very basis of socialism and communism.

    • Henry Lam

      The government is too weak. They do not understand the mindset of communists and how they educate their people. Those communist people are only loyal to their country and could be dangerous. The immigration law should only accept those who accepted multiculturalism and taught from a democratic education system. This virus events clearly has shown how stupid to take China as a friend.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        The government is not too weak. Just weak-minded about some things.

  • Gabi Rodrigues

    For how many days can a country maximum close their borders to foreigners maximum? Like now, with the virus, everyone is using 30 days. Can it be more?