After a warm summer and a "false" autumn, the chill reality of UK inflation is about to get real.

With Goldman Sachs warning soaring energy prices could push inflation to 20% early in 2023, the Black Friday and Christmas gift-buying periods are about to be sorely tested.

For its latest Reality Check report, advertising agency Mindshare surveyed over a thousand UK adults about their feelings regarding Christmas 2022.

  • Positive sentiment has fallen from almost 50% to 25%.
  • Very negative sentiment is almost five times higher than last year.
  • Four in 10 said they were worried about affording Christmas.
  • Three in 10 said they would rely on credit cards more than previous years.
  • 59% said they want to make sure their kids don't miss out.
  • But 78% said they would save rather than splurge.

Mindshare says "brands will need to brace themselves for the most frugal Christmas in living memory".

Julia Ayling, Head of Research & Insights, Mindshare UK, says:

"This Christmas is quite different to anything advertisers will have experienced before.

"Regardless of financial position, people will behave very differently this Christmas. All brands, even those that have traditionally been fairly recession-proof, will need to adapt to this.

"There are reasons to be optimistic for brands that manage to resonate with the public over the festive season.

"The ‘squeezed middle’ are making changes to make sure their loved ones can still enjoy Christmas. This group needs support from brands to spread cost over a longer period, treat their kids and find alternatives and substitutes that celebrate the joy of giving rather being about the monetary value.

"Let’s not forget that a less commercial Christmas can still be a special one. Tapping into the traditional values of Christmas, and what really makes us happy will resonate with the public this festive season."