So, the Bank of England has put a brake on interest rates at five per cent.
After a pre-Budget report which was short of help for embattled manufacturers, was this an outbreak of festive spirit from the mandarins in Threadneedle Street? Don't bet on it.
Yesterday's decision was nailed on after two rises from 4.5 per cent to 4.75 per cent and then to five per cent earlier this year.
The Bank is now digesting the impact of these changes, while weighing up the weakness in the US economy and consumer confidence in the UK which has come under threat from rising taxes and household bills.
Last year's Christmas season did little to raise the gloom among the retailers and this one promises to be even worse.
Maybe people are beginning to come to the end of the equity in their homes. Or maybe they are just getting a bit worried about what the bank does next.
Either way, raise interest rates again and everything could go into meltdown.
Consumer confidence would evaporate and the struggling manufacturers could just be priced out of some of their biggest markets.
Peter Mathews, president of the Midlands World Trade Forum, said: "It still remains an absolute fact that UK rates are making it very difficult for manufacturers to make an impact on overseas markets."
Even so, the Bank may be considering even further interest rates in the New Year – especially with house price inflation showing no sign of slowing down.
There is also the important round of wage bargaining to come in January, and inflation is higher than the Government's two per cent target. But aren't interest rates a particularly blunt instrument for controlling house prices?
Why don't we build more houses, have more shared equity schemes, and have less of those awful TV home improvement house programmes which have created a whole new bunch of ravenous investors forcing up the prices?
I know we are trying really hard on the other two – just not quick enough – and key workers, indeed just about everyone without support from ma and pa (who are sacrificing their own retirement plans in the process) are getting left behind.
Still, we could do more to tackle the TV shows, but on its own I don't think that may work.
A lot will depend on what happens to inflation, which is expected to fall back to the Government's two per cent target during the course of 2007.
The doomsayers fear a rise to six per cent and beyond next year to keep a lid on that and house prices.
This may still be historically low in the UK, but it is all relative. It's 3.5 per cent in the Eurozone. Perhaps the best Christmas present from the Bank would be a nice, boring, more of the same.
To go with the socks, and some British-made products bought from the high street.