The Cost of Christmas

So, it’s my turn to do the blog again.

As Head of Finance for Just Costs Limited, I am expected to write something interesting and attention grabbing about Legal Accounts/Finance!

My time between now and end of December is going to be, in the main, preparing for our year end. Now to me, that is something I do find of interest. I enjoy housekeeping, credit control and WIP management, however, I am sure the same cannot be said for most of you!

So as not to bore the majority (!) of our blog readers with year end file review anecdotes, trials and tribulations, before the stores are awash with shoppers and “We Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” has taken over the radio, here are some Finance related Christmas facts you might find interesting.

• Shopping on Christmas Day proves a popular activity. In 2015, record numbers were expected to spend a large proportion of their day online shopping, spending an estimated £728m. I suppose it beats washing up! (Experian & IMRG)

• Internet shopping analysts, Salmon, are predicting that Black Friday shopping in November 2016 will be a five-day event with sales expected to reach £5billion.

• In a survey for finance website Bobatoo, 60% of respondents said they would spend £100-£200 on gifts for their partner, but children fair better with 58% of parents saying they will spend £100-£300 on gifts for each child. The average amount spent on Christmas presents overall is between £500 and £700 (2016).

• In 2015 it was reported that 4.2 million Christmas dinners were wasted across the UK. This figure is equivalent to 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 slices of Christmas pudding, 17.2 million Brussel sprouts, 11.9 million carrots and 11.3 million roast potatoes. Now I understand the brussels, but a good roast potato should never go to waste! (Source: Reported in The Independent 4 December 2015)

• According to the Forestry Commission, 90% of British families put up a Christmas Tree (2014).

• The average household will spend £835 at Christmas, of this £161 is thought to go on food and drink, and the rest on gifts, cards, trees and decorations. (YouGov).

• An estimated £51m is the amount saved each year through the use of discount voucher codes. (

And finally…

• ‘UK advertisers are set to spend a record £5.6b in the run up to Christmas, as bumper digital budgets for Google and Facebook more than make up for a tougher festive season for TV and newspapers’. The John Lewis ad this year cost £1m to make in a West London studio and the department store will spend a total of £6m on the campaign. This advert supports the Wildlife Trusts with an uplifting ad about a bouncing boxer called Buster. John Lewis is selling a range of cuddly animal toys donating 10% of each sale to Wildlife Trusts. (Sweney, 02 Nov 2016:

All that’s left to do now is kick off your shoes, put on your slippers and fill your homes with love and laughter, and make the most of this year’s festive season because I can assure you we will be doing it all again next year!

Written by Shirley Rothel - Director & COFA