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美国:经济不景气 圣诞礼物缩水

时间:2011-12-09 20:14 作者: 点击:

摘要:Santa finds kids giving shorter lists in recession A job for their mom or dad. Money for the heating bill. Food or a place to live. Maybe gloves or boots. More and more, Santas say the children on their laps are asking for less for themsel

Santa finds kids giving shorter lists in recession


A job for their mom or dad. Money for the heating bill. Food or a place to live. Maybe gloves or boots.
More and more, Santas say the children on their laps are asking for less for themselves — and Santa is promising less as well.
With unemployment stubbornly high, more homes in foreclosure and the economic outlook dim, many children who visit Santa are all too aware of the struggle to make ends meet.
"These children understand the conditions around the home when they ask for stuff," said Richard Holden, a 69-year-old Santa from Gastonia, N.C. "They understand when there are other children in the family, they need to be cautious or thoughtful of them as well and not ask for 10 to 12 items."
Cliff Snider, who's been playing Santa since he was a teenager, agrees.
"I think the parents are saying, 'It's an economic thing. Just list two to three things you really want to have,'" he said. "Parents are trying to encourage the children to be thrifty."
And the 64-year-old Snider does his best to help out. When he gets a big-ticket request, he typically responds: "There's an awful lot of children asking for that this year. What else do you want?"
At the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, Santas learn lines like, "Wow, that's a big gift. Is there anything else you might like?"
These days, though, Santas are having to use it less and less.
"I think it's becoming more popular not to have that long list," said Tom Valent, dean of the Howard Santa school in Midland, Mich., which gets more than 3,000 letters to Santa a year and just graduated its 75th class. "Families are teaching their children to be as much of a giver as a receiver."
给父亲或者母亲的一份工作;取暖费;食物或住所;也可能是手套或靴子。
圣诞老人们表示,孩子们的圣诞愿望如今更少顾及自己,而与此同时,圣诞老人的许诺也越来越少了。
伴随失业率持续处于高位、更多家庭面临丧失抵押品赎回权、以及经济前景堪忧,很多拜访圣诞老人的孩子都过于清楚维持生计的艰难。
来自美国北卡罗来纳州加斯托尼亚市的69岁的圣诞老人理查德•霍顿说:“这些孩子们在要东西时,很清楚家里的情况。他们明白家里有别的孩子时,就需要用心些,想到兄弟姐妹,不能要10件到12件礼物。”
从青少年时期就扮演圣诞老人的克里夫•施耐德深有同感。
他说:“我觉得家长们都说,这是经济状况决定的。列出你真正想要的两三样东西吧。家长们在试着鼓励孩子节约。”
64岁的施耐德也在帮忙。如果孩子们要高价礼物,他一般会回答说:“今年有太多孩子要这个了,你想来点儿别的吗?”
在查尔斯•W•霍华德圣诞老人学校,圣诞老人们学着这样说,“哦,这可是份大礼。有什么别的你可能喜欢吗?”
但最近,圣诞老人们越来越不需要这样说了。
密歇根州米德兰德霍华德圣诞老人学校的院长汤姆•瓦伦特说:“我觉得如今简短的礼物清单越来越流行了。家长们教育孩子在接受的同时,也要赠予。”该学校每年收到三千多封寄给圣诞老人的信件,第75期学员刚刚毕业。
 

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