Should you have already started your Christmas shopping?

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You know that cliche of the disorganised and dishevelled husband or dad, rushing around a department store on Christmas Eve, grabbing random items that he somehow hopes are going to look carefully and artfully chosen the following morning when they appear under the Christmas tree? Well, welcome to my Christmas.

Yet, apparently, there are humans among us who avoid this nightmare scenario. According to a survey by the Centre for Retail Research, one in five people in the UK expect to have completed their Christmas present shopping by the end of November.

Karen Young, who lives in Doha, but will be visiting her family in Bolton this Christmas, is one of these people. She says that early shopping helps to spread the cost and can stop you overspending. She enjoys buying gifts for others, and says that making it a process that takes a couple of months in September and October “prolongs this pleasure”. “For me,” she says, “being organised helps reduce the ‘stress’, and I can then focus on the food, treats and – most importantly – seeing my lovely family.”

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