FAMILIES in Wales are already worried about a “cost-of-Christmas crisis” which is affecting their festive plans months ahead of winter, research suggests.

With bills set to rise even further in the months leading up to Christmas it is understandbale that there are plenty of families feeling anxious at the thought of the festivities. 

Parenting website Mumsnet found that most families are more worried about the cost of the festive season than they normally would be after a survey indicated that two in five are more likely to buy gifts that people need rather than want.  

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A comparison with last year also showed a 31% drop in the number of users who plan to donate to food banks over the Christmas period, with many saying they can no longer afford it.

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet chief executive said: “We knew from our forums that, like families across the country, Mumsnet users are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

“But we were shocked at the level of fear and apprehension that this research revealed. Mums told us repeatedly that rather than looking forward to the festive season, they are – in their words – “sick with worry” about the cost of Christmas.

One user of the popular parent website even admitted to skipping meals: “Worried sick. We can barely afford to eat at the moment, so when the energy price rises come into force in October, I don’t know how we will manage as we are already skipping meals.”

Leader readers have been in touch sharing their thoughts looking ahead to the festive period.

Chris Ellis said: “Christmas is always a worry for families but will be an even bigger worry this year.”

Janice Hughes added: “I’m not worried about Christmas but the winter in general.”

Jill Goodson posted: “I’m not worried, if I haven’t got it - it won’t be happening. I’d never get into debt so kids can have what they want.”

Carol Jones said: "My Christmas is cancelled, I’m not able to run my home and car on my basic state pension not entitled to any extra. Feel sad that I am unable to give my 10 grandchildren a gift. How am I meant to manage since losing my husband, same bills to pay but only one pension."

Anthony Jones simply said: "Let's give it a miss this year."

Some readers have argued that they will not be letting the concept of money take away the true meaning of Christmas, as Marlene Broadhurst posted:"We had our best Christmas times when we were children, no outrageous expensive presents but plenty all the same with lots of lovely family time parties and playing games."

Pam Odam said: "If you are concerned with the cost of Christmas then you have missed what it is really about"

Meanwhile, Janet Owens added: "I wish people would celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, not spend money they can’t afford on gifts no one wants."