CEO Who Makes Over $1 Million A Year Shares Why She Only Puts One Gift In Her Children's Stockings On Christmas

Despite their mother being a millionaire, they will learn the value of a dollar.

Christmas gifts, CEO, mother PinkCoffee Studio / Shutterstock 

Despite earning more than a million dollars annually, the CEO of a company intends not to spoil her children with endless luxurious gifts. She claims that she “cannot in good conscience” give the kids more presents while millions of families in her country are suffering from the costs of increasing energy bills and inflation.

The CEO of the Co-Operative group shares why her children only receive one present in their stockings on Christmas morning. 

Shirine Khoury-Haq is an Australian and British businesswoman. In August 2022, she was given the Chief Executive position of the Co-Operative Group, a consumer co-operative operating in the U.K. and Isle of Man, which runs supermarkets, funeral homes, and insurance and legal services.


In November 2022, the 51-year-old mother revealed that the girls will only receive one gift in their stockings each Christmas to ensure that her kids understood the value of a dollar. 

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According to Khoury-Haq, she and her husband will now be using their holiday budget on gifts for children whose parents are struggling financially, rather than buying their daughters an “embarrassing” amount of gifts. She told the Sunday Times that Christmas normally leads to “too many toys that you then just play with one or two times and then give away or break.”


Before assuming her role as CEO, Khoury-Haq worked at the group serving as the chief financial officer and head of the live services division. She was the first female CEO since its 1863 foundation. After her promotion, Khoury-Haq’s annual salary was increased to a base of £750,000, around $818,000 in U.S. dollars. When bonuses were factored in, she earned over £1 million.

In addition to being a successful businesswoman, Khoury-Haq is the mother of six-year-old twin girls. Although their mother has grown extremely wealthy, the children will grow up to be people who understand the value of a dollar.

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She says that she cannot 'in good conscience' buy her kids so many gifts when there are so many families that are struggling.

"It just feels like excess, given what’s happening in the world," Khoury-Haq has said. "In good conscience, I can’t do that in my own home."


Of course, she is referring to the cost-of-living crisis in the U.K. that the nation has been experiencing since late 2021. It is defined by the British government as the “fall in real life disposable incomes” (that is, adjustable for inflation and after taxes and benefits). 

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The worst-affected households of the crisis are those with low incomes with higher than average energy bills. About 4.3 million families in the U.K. are struggling just to pay for the essentials, with some being forced to go without.

Khoury-Haq is determined to use her wealth to assist these families, who are most vulnerable during the holidays as most of them cannot afford to even buy their children one gift.


“Parents are making choices about whether they eat or their children eat,” she says. That Christmas, Khoury-Haq’s daughters received “a small present from mummy and daddy” before heading to the store to gift shop for children whose parents “can’t contribute to the elves.”

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Khoury-Haq’s Christmas tradition inspired the Co-Operatives group to start one of their own.

Instead of their annual Christmas advertising commercial in their shops, the group decided to focus on promoting Your Local Pantry, a subsidized supermarket. The pantries allow struggling families to take up 10 items and pay as little as £3.50 a week. Most of the food items come from food banks, donations, and supermarket surplus. Within the next few years, 225 of these pantries are expected to open up in the U.K. 

Khoury-Haq says that she is in favor of these pantries since they allow families to choose their food items instead of being handed a pre-made package.


It is people like Khoury-Haq who are making the world a better place by using their fortunes to help those who most need it. Her children will have her graciousness instilled into them from a young age, and will hopefully continue their mother’s acts of kindness for holidays to come. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.