With research showing families with children under the age of 18 will spend anything from £1,000 to more than £2,700 in total at Christmas, with gifts making up the vast majority of the spend, consumer debt specilaist WB Debtcare is advising Santa to plan ahead for the true cost of a family Christmas.

And with 10 per cent of UK households set to put the entire cost of Christmas on a credit card, Gordon Chalmers, partner and insolvency practitioner at Glasgow-based WB Debtcare, suggests that gift givers should budget for their festive spending splurge throughout the year.

“Many of us are paid our monthly salaries a little earlier than usual in December, mostly before Christmas, but that money then has to last longer – it could be almost six weeks until the next pay check at the end of January.”

“That often leads to financial strain as many of us seek to finance the whole of the festive period out of two months’ salaries when what we really should do is allocate a sum of money each month throughout the year to put towards a festive fund.”

“It’s often not until a visit to the cashline and the ‘computer says no’ that many festive revellers realise they have a problem and need to speak to an adviser.”

“Many are unaware that there are various voluntary solutions available to them that will enable them to write off their debts and be debt free.”

“Hopefully Santa will not find himself struggling financially this Christmas, but anyone suffering a post festive period financial hangover should talk to an adviser about which financial solution would best suit their particular circumstances.”