CHRISTMAS debt is a serious issue for many families in Scotland.

Research from the Social Market Foundation’s Disposable Income Index from last year shows that more than three-quarters of households with children make some form of financial sacrifice in order to buy Christmas presents.

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One in eight families delay paying household bills to buy presents.

Last week Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert went viral after suggesting that friends and family agree a “pre-NUPP” whereby people sign up to a No Unnecessary Presents Pact. He said in a video: “Christmas has become a retail festival and it shouldn’t be.

“It is really time to get off the gift giving treadmill. As a society the best gift can be releasing others from having to reciprocate gifts. We should work together to ban unnecessary Christmas presents.”

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Jane Tully, director of external affairs at the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, told the Sunday National: “ One of the single most important things you can do is set a festive budget. Make a list of who you want to buy presents for and set a budget for each.

“If you are worried about debt, get advice now and don’t wait for the New Year.”