This is the time of year for families …. and for gadgets. Lots of them! In particular, smartphones. An average 65% of children in the UK aged between 8 and 11 now have their own smartphone.

This figure rises to 90.5% in Newcastle making it the smartphone capital of the UK for children. This compares with 55.2% in London and only 40% in Brighton and Hove.

All this and more is contained in a survey by Internet Matters (www.internetmatters.org) which also revealed that 72% of parents will have bought tech gifts for their children this year.

For those looking forward to getting back to drafting or responding to schedules of aids and equipment in the New Year the challenge is to become more e-savvy in 2016.

Also out before Christmas was the latest statistical bulletin from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) (www.ons.gov.uk) on families and households in the UK 2015.

As a result, those grappling with accommodation claims in 2016 may need to reconsider some of the assumptions often made in schedules and counter schedules, for example, that a person will cohabit throughout his or her life and about the likely age at which a person is likely to leave home.

Although in 2015 in the UK there were 12.5 million people living in a married or civil partner couple family and a further 3.2 million living as a cohabiting couple family there were also 7.7 million people in the UK in 2015 living alone. The largest change – and, according to the ONS, one that is statistically significant - is in people aged between 45 and 64 where the number living alone has increased by 23% between 2005 and 2015.

In 2015 around 40% of young adults in the UK aged between 15 and 34 were still living with their parents. In 1996 around 5.8 million people aged between 15 and 34 in the UK lived with their parents. This figure increased to a peak of 6.7 million in 2014 and has remained at around 6.6 million in 2015.

Looking forward, Christmas wish lists are likely to continue to be dominated by tech gadgets and devices. However, in 2016, at least for parents, the focus may be less on paper chains and party games and more on parental controls and privacy settings.