In his excellent article in the Telegraph today Martin Lewis does not go quite this far in his suggestions – but he does suggest reigning back. If we do want to ‘be generous’ to our kids and friends, think longer term that how you have done thus far and read what he says. Between our family and our peers (brothers / sisters / siblings-in-law) we have had an agreement for a few years – let’s exchange just one book or CD to each person from each family. For me Christmas has been a happier time since then. We agree in advance what we would like – so the giver knows for sure that their gift will be well received. No wracking of brains, no angst, no hassle just a happy family day without a boost to the size of the piles outside of charity shops or land-fill. Sure many children like a surprise, but amongst adults I’d suggest it is not the surprise of Christmas, but the value of relationship being strengthened or re-kindled is key. Christmas marks Jesus’ birthday, and do you know what – I think the approach we have or that presented by Martin Lewis would be birthday present he would enjoy to receive this Christmas.