The data elves have been crunching the Christmas numbers and the results are in. The newspapers are full of statistics so here are a few for us to chew on. Apparently, the UK will have cooked (but, sadly, not eaten) up to 10 million turkeys this year. A lot of leftovers will end up in the bin though. We generate up to 230,000 tonnes of waste over the holidays including an estimated 7.5 million mince pies and 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding.

The numbers certainly seem to indicate that we see Christmas as “the most wonderful time of the year”. We celebrate in style and with no expense spared with the UK anticipated to spend up to £25.6 billion on its celebrations this year.

So, here’s a subduing thought as we scrape the half-eaten plates of food into the recycling bins this holiday. In February 2018, the charity Crisis commissioned the accountants PwC to estimate the cost of ending homelessness in the UK by funding interventions and programmes designed to prevent it happening in the first place. The answer? £19.29 billion or, to put it another way, £6bn less than we have collectively spent on gifts, turkeys, mince pies and Christmas puddings this year.

The irony is perhaps lost on us. Santa, jolly and kindly though he is, tends to only visit those that have a roof over their heads or a chimney to climb down. Those sleeping in doorways are flown over and, in the excitement, all too often ignored. Perhaps that shouldn’t come as any surprise as, according to the data, Santa is travelling at 2,340,000 mph so he could be forgiven for not seeing those who are so often walked past unnoticed. But next year, maybe, perhaps we could give him a hand. Perhaps we could put the unnecessary packet of minced pies back on the shel, pass on the unwanted pudding and give a little bit more thought to the numbers.