It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas… in August.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas…in August.

We used to think that starting your Christmas shopping before Halloween was sacrilege and only for those that wanted to suck the joy out of the festive season but times have changed.

This year Brits have a more considered approach to Christmas as inflation takes it toll on spending, placing more emphasis on value and meaningful gifting.

Latest research from eBay Ads UK suggests that almost one third (32%) of us are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier than last year, with 29% planning to start before the end of August and 30% crediting the early start to the impact of inflation.

It’s not only when people are shopping but what they are shopping for; 60% of the country say good value for money is the most important factor when buying presents, while 56% of shoppers plan to buy “thoughtful gifts” for friends and family.

At a time when many Brits are struggling to afford everyday items, 29% of consumers plan to buy functional gifts and almost a quarter (24%) will buy essential items for presents, suggesting a preference for purchasing gifts that are useful rather than the usual barrage of stocking fillers.

With many of us stressed about the cost of living it’s little wonder Christmas spirits have been dampened but hope is still high.

Over half (52%) of consumers are optimistic that they’ll be able to celebrate Christmas as usual, and over a quarter (27%) think Christmas will feel exciting and is something to look forward to.

Many see Black Friday as Christmas prep and the sales have already begun in earnest. Joining in the Black Friday buzz has become crucial for businesses everywhere, and not just the big ones. Consumers are now more than ever interested in shopping local and supporting small businesses.

This is particularly true in last week before Christmas when around 21st December the online shipping cutoff passes, Christmas shoppers increasingly turn to their hometown shops to get what they need.

Regardless of which day of the week Christmas falls, the in-store holiday rush starts on Friday one full week before Christmas. The Saturday after that is typically the second-busiest day of December.

The busiest day of all in the last month of the year? That’s Dec. 23, regardless of what day of the week it falls on.

Good luck to all the “Last Minute Larry’s”