Dear Janice,

Last month my girlfriend gave me a huge Christmas list which I simply cannot afford.

She said she knows it’s early to start shopping, but it gives me time to save money and find the things she wants.

I have a big family and lots of people to buy for, and I simply don’t earn enough to spend the money she expects me to. She also hinted about me getting a credit card to ‘see me through’.

My parents always struggled with money and would be furious if I got into debt, but how could I upset her on Christmas Day with only some of her presents?


Dear Taylor,

I AM seriously hoping that by the time Christmas Day comes, you have seen sense and have dumped this money-grabbing monster. Honestly, her demands are shocking.

Suggesting you get yourself into debt because of her greed is disgusting.

Tell her the amount you have to spend on her and let her choose the presents she wants from her wish list.

If she complains, explain that she might be with the wrong guy because you do not have a limitless pot of cash, and you have many others to buy for.

If she is unhappy, well tough.

Find a girl who wants to spend Christmas with you for you, and not for the material gifts she is hoping to unwrap.

Also, just imagine a lifetime of being under that financial pressure.

Run, while you still have a chance!

Dear Janice,

I feel like a carer when I go out with my friends.

Despite us all being in our late 30s now, they still get ridiculously drunk, and I am always the one making sure they get home safe and sound.

I drink too, but when I see them getting sozzled, I can’t zone out from their drunken behaviour, so I stop drinking.

I make sure I get taxis for them and never leave anyone behind.

I get no thanks for it and know I should leave them to it, but I honestly wouldn’t sleep a wink if I left them to get home by themselves.

It ruins my nights out, but what can I do?


Dear Claire,

What a kind and caring friend you are, but at the end of the day, they are adults.

So long as you take responsibility for them, they will continue to rely on you to pander to their needs.

Difficult as it will be when you get to the point that their behaviour makes you uncomfortable, leave them to it. Only then will they become aware of their surroundings, and how to make their way home safely. Don’t get me wrong, there may be some issues along the way, but they need to learn to care for themselves.

So, from now on the rules are – enjoy your night, but the minute they start getting sloshed and intolerable, grab your coat and leave.