‘Big Value Xmas’ returns

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A family fun day to promote creative, low-cost Christmas options returns for another year next week. The ‘‘Big Value Christmas’’ event will be held in the Octagon and Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Saturday, November 12. Salvation Army Oasis Centre team leader Chris Watkins said the event offered families a chance to look at fun, healthy Christmas options which did not encourage overconsumption or unsustainable debt. The day would include workshops for children, a toy and game swap and an auction of five pottery mugs hand-painted by Otago rugby players. The mug auction would fundraise for the Moray Foundation, which makes interest-free loans for health, welfare and education purposes. Mr Watkins encouraged children to bring toys and games they wanted to put into the toy swap, or drop them off to the Salvation Army before the event. One of the main aims of the event was to promote a sustainable, unstressful Christmas, where parents did not feel pressured to buy unaffordable presents for their children to ‘‘keep up with the Joneses’’, MrWatkins said. Many of the social agencies involved inthe event saw the outcome of Christmas pressures, many people visiting them early in the new year heavily in debt. Moray Foundation coordinator Sara Crow said apart from the mugs to be auctioned, one was on offer as a prize for the child who came up with the best low-cost, creative way to celebrate Christmas. She encouraged children to bring along their best ideas to next weekend’s event. The event is being organised by Lending Matters, a group of community organisations that included the Salvation Army, Dunedin Budget Advisory Service, Plunket, St Francis of Assisi Trust, Presbyterian Support, Te Roopu Tautoko ki te Tonga, Anglican Family Care and Presbyterian Support Otago. – The Big Value Christmas will held in the Octagon and Dunedin Public Art Gallery from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, November 12.