Ho Ho Go! Brits Start Christmas Shopping Early As Festive Spirit Returns To The Nation

New Post Office research shows an uplift in Christmas spirit as Brits are encouraged to ‘post early’ to avoid disappointment.

  • Around two-thirds of Brits have started Christmas shopping
  • Feelings of Christmas cheer increase 50% on last year
  • Brits are more than twice as likely to enjoy Christmas shopping than find it stressful
  • Jo Hemmings, Behavourial Psychologist, shares top tips on Christmas shopping

Christmas cheer is back, with six in 10 Brits feeling optimistic, happy and excited ahead of this year’s festivities, a 50% increase on the same sentiment last year. This uplift in Christmas cheer has seen almost two-thirds of Brits beginning to fill their shopping baskets – with one in five starting earlier than last year.

The new research carried out by the Post Office on the nation’s shopping habits shows that four in 10 Brits want to be more organised this festive period, with 30% wanting to make this Christmas extra special.

Brits are also more than twice as likely to enjoy Christmas shopping than find it stressful with a quarter of Brits planning to spend more on close family due to the lifting of Covid restrictions – whilst 82% want to buy presents for friends and family earlier than last year so they can give them in person.

Yet, the return of Christmas cheer is not the only factor for the nation’s preparedness for this year’s festivities with 40% of Brits shopping early due to concern over shortages, delays and long queues.

A quarter of Brits are worried that they will be seen to be not making an effort if Christmas gifts don’t arrive on time – and one in 10 worry they may have to explain to their children why Santa didn’t bring gifts!

According to the Post Office research, the increase of online shopping looks set to continue, with four in 10 planning to buy mostly online, with 82% of online sellers either expecting or experiencing earlier Christmas purchasing this year. To prepare for this, there has been a 56% increase in stock levels, 45% increase in staff and 29% uplift in earlier dispatching.

However, research findings also suggest an instore resurgence with 1 in 3 saying they are more likely to shop on their local high-street this festive period compared to last year.

Kristian Latham, Head of Letters and Parcels at Post Office said: “Christmas is the busiest time of the year at our branches, so it’s reassuring to hear from our Postmasters that customers are shopping and posting early. Our postmasters are always available to help guide customers during the busy festive period – but there are some simple steps everyone can take to make local branch trips quicker and easier.”
“We encourage customers to take advantage of longer opening hours to avoid the busiest times; check the latest recommended posting dates and fill out customs forms at home if sending internationally; look at restricted items lists; and ensure parcels are labelled correctly. Taking the time to do this due diligence fully and correctly is the best way to ensure your items are delivered in time for Christmas. Our number one message this year is to post early to avoid disappointment”.

The new research lists the top three reasons for being a present purchasing procrastinator as: stress and hassle, indecision on what to buy and not feeling festive enough, with 1 in 4 struggling to get into the spirit.

As such, the Post Office has teamed up with Jo Hemmings, Behavioural Psychologist, to help combat Christmas catastrophe with her top tips for stress-free festive shopping.

Jo Hemmings, Behavioural Psychologist said: “This year there has been a psychological sea change in the mood of the nation in the run up to Christmas as we embrace the excitement and atmosphere of much-loved festivities. Here are my top tips to ensure the Christmas cheer continues as we prepare for the big day.”

Jo Hemming’s Top Tips for Stress-free Christmas Shopping.

  1. Planning and preparation – organisation has been shown to significantly reduce stress. Get your shopping list done early and work out who you are buying for and what they might want. By doing a bit of online window shopping, checking price comparisons sites and making a note of which sites/shops are offering the best deals, shoppers can lower potential stress levels.
  2. Practise Coping Mechanisms – avoiding stress wherever possible is important, especially in the buildup to a season that is all about feeling relaxed, joyous and happy. There are several ways we can learn to manage stress that include: learning mindfulness, yoga and breathing techniques.
  3. Patience and phasing – before rushing into spending a lot of money all at once for convenience, think about those shops where you may have store cards that offer seasonal deals, or are likely to be doing discounts, Black Friday for example. Putting things on a store wish list where they’ll email you if there is a price drop is also a good idea.
  4. Paper and presentation – just when you think you have everything under control, there are often last-minute items that you’ve forgotten – paper, ribbons and gift tags are common examples. So, make sure they are on your list and if, like so many of us, you’re not the best ‘wrapper’, remember that many items can be gift wrapped in store or on online. Putting awkward shaped presents into a box and using coordinating paper, bows and ribbon can also hide a multitude of poor wrapping skills… if you are posting items that are giftwrapped, please ensure it is inside a gift box with no string or ribbons on the outside. For more advice on how to choose the correct packaging, please visit: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/mail/how-to-pack-your-parcel
  5. People and presents – there are always some friends and family who are easy to buy for and others that take a lot more thought. If you’re really wracking your brains as to what to buy someone, asking them – or someone close to them – what they’d like is a smart idea. It never offends and can save you a lot of stress.
  6. Post Office – If you are in a hurry and need your parcels to be delivered as quickly as possible, you can take advantage of Royal Mail’s Special Delivery Guaranteed service which is fully tracked and guarantees next day delivery or your money back*.

For more information this Christmas period, head to the Post Office’s Christmas hub, https://www.postoffice.co.uk/christmas

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