The turkey and trimmings may be long-forgotten, but one in five people are still trying to pay off the cost of Christmas.
Worst hit are those aged between 18 and 44 who turned to credit to pay for their Yuletide treats, in the process piling pounds on plastic, according to research published today by the Halifax.
While credit cards were the most popular way to spread the cost of festive fun, many took out a loan specifically to cover the cost of Christmas, while others extended their overdraft, which they have, as yet, been unable to clear.
Older people fared better, with fewer – just 9 per cent of those over the age of 45 – in the red because of the festivities.
But the debt figures point to widespread lack of planning ahead for financial demands, pointed out Anthony Warrington of the Halifax. "We all face unforeseen costs from time to time, but Christmas shouldn't be one of them.
"Christmas is an expensive time of year as it is, but not budgeting for it well in advance can cost you more in the long run."