Why do we put ourselves under so much financial pressure at Xmas?

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According to the Office for National Statistics, UK retail sales during the run up to Christmas rose by 0.3 per cent this year.

It does not sound a lot but every year the figure increases. As expectations for the latest gadgets or games console grow, so do stress levels in parents desperate not to disappoint. ‘Pester power’ is a force to be reckoned with, as parents across the land will know, and advertising professionals know that.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of a splurge and Christmas presents an opportunity for many people who have been counting the pennies all year to let go a little. Indeed, many will have been saving all year just so that they can treat their loved ones to exciting presents, decorations and good food at Christmastime.

Personally, I can’t help but find it disheartening when I hear of families who have crippled themselves financially in the run up to Christmas, only to see the very same items they have bought in half-price sales across the country in January.

When you look at it like that, it all starts to feel faintly ridiculous.

Why do we put ourselves under so much pressure to buy so many things, knowing that we are likely to suffer a difficult January as a consequence?

Without sounding like an old bore, the January blues can have quite a positive effect on people’s financial prioritising.

Turning a negative into a positive is an impressive sales technique. January is a good time to get clients to think about their financial futures.

Funds may be tight but taking steps to continue to support the very people they’ve just been celebrating with is likely to have more gravitas at this time of year. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.