As we head into the holiday season, a new poll conducted by Harris Interactive for humanitarian organization World Vision indicates that Canadian attitudes towards charity and gift giving could be less linked to the economy compared to our American friends.

Canadians are less inclined than Americans to feel that the economy is impacting their ability to give charitably. When asked if they plan to increase their charitable giving once the economy improves, 71% of U.S. adults agreed versus 61% of Canadians.

“We know that Canadians value generosity and will do what they can to remain generous through tough times,” says World Vision Gifts spokesperson Marie Bettings. “What World Vision and other organizations have seen across the country are every-day heroes who do what they can to provide their time and resources to help others in spite of tougher economic conditions.”

Canadians trying to hold on to tradition:

Canadians are doing what they can to cling to their holiday gift-giving traditions. Fewer Canadians plan to change their traditional gift-giving practices to adapt to economic changes than Americans. While the study indicates more than half of Canadians (56%) will spend less money on holiday presents this year as a result of the current economic climate:

There is a difference of more than 10 percentage points in the proportion of adults who strongly agreed they would spend less on holiday gifts as a result of the economic climate (26% of Canadians versus 37% of Americans).

Fifty-nine per cent of American adults agree that they would like to do something different or non-traditional with their gifts this year because of the economy, versus just 51% of Canadians.

Canadians continue to value alternative gifts to add meaning to the holidays; 77% of Canadians would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that helps others instead of a traditional holiday gift such as clothing or electronics (74% in 2011).

Canadians seeking a fun way to do charitable acts over the holidays can include World Vision Gifts ( on their holiday shopping list – these alternative gifts provide tangible donations to a child or family in Canada or around the world, the gift giver gets a card they can give the gift recipient to outline the difference being made in the recipient’s name.