Two people walk past Christmas decorations at a shopping mall in Oslo, Norway, on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 (Xinhua/Liang Youchang)
OSLO, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Four out of five Norwegians claim to have received Christmas presents that they do not need, online newspaper E24 wrote Sunday.
According to a survey conducted by organization Opinion for Norwegian Church Aid, 72 percent of Norwegian people older than 50 years answered that they received unnecessary presents, while up to 90 percent of Norwegians aged between 30 and 39 years answered the same.
"When so many get something they do not need, we think we have a solution to this, which is to give symbolic or alternative presents. These make a real difference for people who actually need it," said Secretary General Helland in Church Aid.
Popularity of giving alternative Christmas presents started to spread by media support in 2006, when Norwegian Church Aid introduced the opportunity to buy a symbolic goat for anyone who needed it.
Since then, more than 65,000 of such goats have been sold.
"Today we have a large selection, including some physical products, so when people get a gift, they also know that profits are going for a good purpose," Helland said.
Seventy-seven percent of Norwegians in their 30s and 70 percent of Oslo citizens like to receive alternative presents, compared to 65 percent of the entire population. Seventy-two percent of female and 57 percent of male citizens consider an alternative gift, such as a symbolic goat, a relief kit or a paternity.
On the other hand, 24 percent women and 38 percent men say they do not want alternative Christmas presents. Only 34 percent of Norwegian population said that they had received alternative presents before, E24 reported.
According to Norwegian news agency NTB, Church Aid sales has increased for 80 percent over the last three years.
In addition, organization SOS Children's Villages, Plan International Norway, Refugee Aid and UNICEF also said that they are still experiencing increased interest and income from alternative Christmas presents.
"People who have contacted us now before Christmas wanted to give present cards to SOS Children's Villages instead of Christmas presents, and several grandparents think it is nice to give a paternity present to grandchildren," said Synne Ronning, communications manager at SOS Children's Villages.
According to UNICEF, their most popular present is warm clothes and blankets for children affected by the war in Syria.
Refugee Aid Counselor Rune Johansen noticed a tendency of increased sale of present cards that provide protection for girls and women.
"I think this is connected to the increased attention made by the # metoo campaign," he said.