Bah humbug, it’s that time of year again. Over-eating, over-drinking and over-exposure to family, plus a battering when it comes to the bank account. A recent survey suggests that Londoners spend an average of £973 on Christmas, including the gifts, food, drink and all the extras it entails. The tally is lower in some regions (£752 in Scotland, £803 in East Anglia) but, for many families, the bill will be even higher.
But, if it doesn’t sound too Scrooge-like, does Christmas really warrant spending so much money? Does the family need those expensive presents, the flowing fizz, the deluxe crackers, the vast turkey and all the endless trimmings? Wouldn’t everyone be happier if they reined it in a little? After all, think what else you could do with the money when it comes to getting a different kind of break in 2024.
Granted, £973 won’t buy you a luxury holiday in peak season, but there are plenty of fabulous breaks to be had for this amount at other times of year. It could be a few nights of dinner, bed and breakfast in a UK spa hotel, or a family half-term stay in a cosy cottage in Wales. Or perhaps a chance to soak up the sights on a weekend break to Paris, or even some early-season sunshine in the Balearics. Alternatively, invest your cash in a new year’s resolution and challenge yourself on a creative course in West Sussex.
It’s not too late to set your festive budget a little lower. Send fewer cards, pick a smaller tree, cut down on gifts, skimp on stockings and curb your culinary costs. Make the bells jingle, not the cash tills. Chances are you won’t even notice the difference when it comes to good cheer and jollity – and if it means being able to afford an extra break in 2024, surely it’s worth a go?
So spend that £973 on a holiday instead: we’ve picked out a selection of top breaks which cost, give or take a tenner, exactly that: