You know Christmas is on the way when your local supermarket starts selling advent calendars, Christmas puddings and wrapping paper, but given recent events very few of us are likely to be full of festive cheer.
Financial press offices are in full swing too. According to a recent survey by the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, the current financial climate has forced some people to rethink how they will splash the cash - with more than half of those polled revealing they are planning to be far more frugal with the festivities this year.
Customers feeling the pinch have also said they plan to cut their gift budgets, buy less food and drink, and even have a go at making presents themselves.
That’s the same message delivered by compareandsave.com, which claims that 70% of us plan to cut some friends and family off our Christmas present lists altogether or make gifts instead of buying them presents.
It’s hard to disagree.
While I’m no more of a Scrooge than the next person, unfortunately I’m simply not going to be able to afford to splash the cash like I have on previous festive seasons. The rising cost of food and fuel this year has certainly taken their toll on my finances (not to mention the £600 in rent alone each month!).
But we’re all in the same boat. So much so my family has come to an agreement this year – less is more. While we will certainly be buying lots of gifts for my nephews and make Christmas special for them, we’ve set a small limit on each other’s gifts - which we have to stick to. Instead, we’re going to have a really nice meal and enjoy each other’s company.
And after all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Liam Tarry is the Staff Writer at Moneywise