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Holiday hurt: Inflation is changing how Canadians do Christmas

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The impacts of inflation are changing how Canadians do Christmas.

A new poll by the Angus Reid Institute says more than half of Canadians – 56 per cent – say they will be spending less on Christmas, including presents and entertaining.

"When you look at the Atlantic Canadian data, among the highest numbers in the country in Nova Scotia, 57 per cent, say they're worse off now,” said Dave Korzinski, the research director with Angus Reid Institute.

“In Newfoundland and Labrador, 54 per cent, in New Brunswick 53 per cent, all of those are higher than the national average of 50 per cent,” Korzinski said.

This is the first time the non-profit's data has shown that more than 50 per cent of Canadians say they are financially worse off this year than this time last year.

"Seeing food banks across the country who are dealing with essentially budgets that are smaller and demand that is larger, which is a really tough recipe when you're trying to keep your programs going,” Korzinski said.

"When it's more expensive for your household, imagine buying it for 1,400 households,” said Alex Boyd,  the executive director Greener Village Food Bank in Fredericton.

“So, that's what we do with milk and eggs, those are very seldom donated items,” Boyd said.

Charitable giving is also already down this holiday season, according to the poll.

"To see 37 per cent of Canadians say they're cutting back on donations, including more than two-in-five who are older, who are 55+ who tend to be the most generous and the most consistent givers, has been really challenging for a lot of charities,” Korzinski said.

"It's always a concern that we watch for, especially being an organization that relies heavily on November and December giving to make up for the leaner months earlier in the year,” Boyd said.

Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians say they have cut back on spending in some way recently – up from 80 per cent in August.

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