We are reaching that point in the year when mild panic sets in for anyone who leaves their Christmas shopping a little late.

I started ticking off my list during Sidmouth’s late night shopping at the start of December. I’m told similar events across East Devon went well despite plummeting temperatures.

I haven’t got as many presents to find this year as we’re focusing on the children. It’s my new baby niece's first Christmas and I always get a bit carried away buying toys and clothes.

I always try to buy all my Christmas gifts on local high streets. I’ve had a 100% success rate in previous years. After a tough year, we need to continue to support our local shops to help protect the character of our towns and many jobs.

We are lucky to have many independent shops across East Devon. There’s nothing better than buying better local produce.

I know it is a tough time for many people with the cost of living challenges facing everyone. I was really pleased to donate and support Sidmouth Rotary Club’s Christmas Appeal. They’ve been inundated with donations including games, toys, books and festive treats dropped off at donation points across the Sid Valley. It’s a fantastic effort from a dedicated team of volunteers who want to make sure struggling families in the area get something a little special this Christmas. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Every year, rather than send Christmas cards to people across the constituency, I donate the cost of sending cards to three local charities. This year, I have chosen to donate £100 to Open Door Exmouth, Seachange (formerly Budleigh Health & Wellbeing Hub) and the South West MS Centre based in Clyst Heath in Exeter.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you are working over the festive period, thank you! My team and I will be working over the next few weeks so please do get in touch if you need my help.