By Daniel Hunter

Forget Brussels sprouts and parsnips, it’s all about hot potatoes this festive season. For more than one million Britons, Christmas is more than a time for getting together and celebrating, it’s an opportunity to broach a difficult subject.

According to new research, released by Barclays, Christmas Day is seen as the perfect soap box for asking the family for a substantial cash injection, airing dirty laundry and announcing big, life-changing news.

After broaching family issues (13%), the next hot topic for discussion over Christmas this year will be money matters. Just over one in ten (11%) Britons — that’s 5.4m of us - are planning to ask their families for financial help such as a home deposit.

Top awkward Christmas Dinner table topics:

- Addressing a family issue/skeletons in the closet (13%)
- Financial help (e.g. house purchase) (11%)
- Wills or inheritance (8%)
- Change of career (6%)
- Sexual Orientation (5%)
- A new relationship (4%)
- Announcing a pregnancy (4%)
- Asking a partner’s family to propose marriage (2%)

“For many of us Christmas is a time for being merry and giving so it comes as no surprise that we use this occasion, when spirits are high, to have these somewhat difficult conversations with our family," Andy Gray, Managing Director Mortgages at Barclays commented.

"However, in these tough times the gift of giving can be hard. Our research has shown that, despite wanting to help out, almost half (49%) of British parents would find it hard to gift their children with that much needed deposit for a house. To help, Barclays has introduced a mortgage scheme, the Family Mortgage Range, to aid adult children onto the property ladder with help from their family.”

The research also revealed that almost two-thirds of Brits (60%) wouldn’t be able to get onto the property ladder without the help of their parents. And they’re not alone:

- The Bank of Mum and Dad has added £23bn to the first-time buyer housing market between 2008 and 2011
- 85% of first time buyers say they are turning to family financing because of the difficulties of accessing traditional mortgages
- 64% of all first-time buyers (or those buyers returning to the market) were assisted in their purchase

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