Ten things you need to know about Christmas shopping

Christmas shopping in Norwich

Christmas shopping in Norwich - Credit: Archant Norfolk 2010

One in five people in the UK buys half their Christmas presents online, therefore missing out on the delightful tradition of wrestling a middle-aged woman to the floor in order to nab the last bubble bath gift set on the shelves at 5.29pm on December 24.

Unbelievably, Christmas Day is fast becoming one of the busiest online shopping days on the calendar. Just what you need after spending four months shopping for that one day!

A third of UK shoppers plans to spend considerably less on gifts than last year due to the credit crunch. Ah, the good old credit crunch – making Scroogelike tendencies acceptable for the masses.

It’s official: Christmas shopping is bad for you. According to recent research, festive giftbuying increases blood pressure to dangerous levels in 50pc of shoppers. The other 50pc have clearly been drinking too much mulled wine.

Christmas book tokens are simple to buy, easy to wrap and offer the recipient the gift of choice.They are, however, as well received by children as a tissue-wrapped cowpat.

If you want to know what not to buy, bear in mind that 20pc of men say socks are the worst present they could receive for Christmas, while 23pc of women hate being given bad lingerie. If you despise those you are buying for, then socks and peephole bras it is.

The Movement for the Containment of Christmas has glued shop doors closed when members discovered festive goods were on sale in September. An awful lot of glue must have been needed in Rochdale, which put its Christmas lights on at the end of August.

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Half of UK shoppers started to buy their Christmas presents in August to avoid the festive stampede. The other half are men.

Do not waste time worrying that your gift choices may not hit the mark: A whopping 93pc of recipients say they smile and pretend the present they have been given is what they’ve always wanted. Buy these people socks and bad lingerie.

The average spend on Christmas presents in 2008 was £320 per person. If my children are reading this, that means £320 for all presents bought, not £320 on each gift. (Now please remove the Lotus Elise and that trip into space from your lists).

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