THERE are well under 100 days left until Christmas and soon enough you will have to start thinking about presents, food and plans.
It’s never too soon to start stocking up on decorations, in fact sometimes doing it early can save you money – but get organised soon as Christmas is just 72 days away.
Starting preparations early can help make the festive period less stressful[/caption]
There will be plenty of iconic Christmas adverts, festive treats and top TV shows heading our way this winter, with specials of our favourite programmes along with the usual heart-warming seasonal movies.
And will we get a picture-perfect White Christmas this year?
The UK hasn’t woken up to widespread snow on Christmas morning since 2010 – could 2017 be different?
Meanwhile, in terms of Christmas shopping, we’ve got Black Friday and Cyber Monday to look forward to – which will see massive retailers slash their prices in the run-up to the festive period.
Selfridges got a head start on their competitors and launched their Christmas store on August 1 – a move that didn’t impress some shoppers.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the pantomime, and there are some crackers planned for this year.
Celebrities are teaming up in huge seasonal extravaganzas like Peter Pan In Neverland starring Bradley Walsh and Martin Kemp, or Danny Mac and Beverley Knight in Cinderella – so make sure you book your tickets and dust off your foam finger in good time!
Meanwhile shops like Primark are already selling their Christmas jumper range.
Or perhaps this gin-themed festive knit is more your taste.
But however you decide to approach Christmas this year, it’s never too early to get cracking – with only 72 days to go, it’ll be here before we know it.
More about Christmas 2017
The new John Lewis Christmas advert is tipped to feature a ‘cuddly monster’… and families will love it
WHEN the John Lewis Christmas ad comes on TV you know that the festive season is just around the corner. Speculation is already rife as to what this year’s offering from the department store will feature. And now it has been rumoured that the 2017 TV spectacular will all be about a “cuddly monster” that […]
WHEN the John Lewis Christmas ad comes on TV you know that the festive season is just around the corner.
Speculation is already rife as to what this year’s offering from the department store will feature.
And now it has been rumoured that the 2017 TV spectacular will all be about a “cuddly monster” that families will love.
A source close to John Lewis says the creative team for the brand has pulled out all the stops this year for the Christmas ad.
And they told OK! Online: “This year the John Lewis advert will revolve around a big cuddly monster. If you can imagine a cross between the Gruffalo and a huge cute teddy bear, that’s the angle they’ve gone for.
“Filming for the advert wrapped a couple of months ago but they’ve been doing a lot of post production to get the special effects just right.
“Families are going to love the finished product, it’s a really emotional advert with a lovely ending.”
Last year’s heartwarming ad saw fun-loving dog Buster the Boxer having a whale of a time bouncing around on a trampoline.
The ad prompted a wave of copycat puppy videos to emerge online over the festive season.
It is unclear when this year’s ad will first air, but if previous years are anything to go by, it should be on the second week of November.
Previously we told you how John Lewis are selling a GIN advent calendar with a hefty price tag.
We also told you the top 10 toys for Christmas 2017 on sale at the department store.
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Argos slashes toy prices including Nerf, Transformers and My Little Pony
ARGOS has slashed the prices on some of its must have toys as shoppers get ready for the expensive Christmas season. Parents looking to get ahead on their festive shopping will be able to get up to a third off coveted toys in the retailer’s half term sale. There are over 700 lines on offer […]
ARGOS has slashed the prices on some of its must have toys as shoppers get ready for the expensive Christmas season.
Parents looking to get ahead on their festive shopping will be able to get up to a third off coveted toys in the retailer’s half term sale.
There are over 700 lines on offer and most of the dealc are valid from October 11 until the October 31.
These include top brands like Nerf blasters, Little Pony playsets and Star wars. Transformers Autobot Sqweeks – which featured on Argos top picks for Christmas – is also on offer for £49.99 instead of £69.99.
Parents can also get 10 per cent off SoundMoovz Muzical Bandz, another of this year’s Christmas must haves.
If you’re worried independent price tracking website Pricehistory.co.uk will help you work what’s a bargain and what’s not. The website tracks data for all of the items on the Argos website.
You can set-up price alerts so you can see when is the best time to buy and the site has a section which shows what items have been reduced each day.
We had a quick look and found out that – as of July 2017 – the best offer on the Transformer Autobot Sqweeks was £79.99 – so the latest promotion is definitely a good deal.
Autobot Sqweeks RC from Hasbro features motion and sound effects and kids can prepare for battle by switching him into blaster mode, using his movie-inspired blaster accessory.
It will be a favourite with fans of the latest Transformers movie and is suitable for kids aged 6 or more.
It is worth noting that although Argos’ offer is a good deal, you can also find the robot on online retailer Amazon where it is currently selling for £35.
Musical kids might like SoundMoovz Bandz, a wearable tech toy that allows them to create their own beats and rhythms as they move by using Bluetooth-connected bands.
Available in black, blue and purple – Argos is currently selling the bracelet for £44.99.
After a quick check online we couldn’t find a better deal at rival stores or on Amazon.
Nerf continues to stay popular with kids as its latest model – the Nitro Long version – made the Hamley’s top toys list for Christmas 2017.
A good option for money-savvy parents, the blaster has a 24-dart capacity and can fire two darts at a time.
It is not suitable for children under 3 years old.
We’ve also checked previous prices on Argos and this has been its best offer on the toy since October.
My Little Pony is a brand that continues to be a favourite with children throughout the years.
This tower of My Little Pony is three storey’s tall and it has a real working elevator to bring all the ponies to the second and third floor.
Parents should be aware that the ponies themselves are sold separately.
We’ve checked the prices on Argos and this is definitely the best offer the retailer had on the toy so far.
In January it was selling the castle for £79.99 before dropping the prices to £39.99 in March and raising them again in April.
The last time it reduced prices was in August when the popular was selling for £39.99 again.
Some shoppers are currently selling the My Little Pony product for nearly £120 on Amazon.
For parent who can’t afford the pricey Luvabella toy – which has been tipped as this Christmas must-have toy but cost a cool £100 – the BABY born interactive doll might be a good alternative.
The doll – made by toymaker Zapf Creation for kids aged three to five – has nine functions and comes with 11 accessories including a bottle, a nappy, and a potty.
A black version of the interactive doll also exist but it doesn’t look like it is available at Argos.
Earlier this year, Tesco and Toys R Us were among major retailers dragged into a race row for selling black dolls cheaper than white ones.
Argos’s latest discount is a good price compared to Luvabella but it is worth noting that it was selling the doll for £10 cheaper in November last year.
This means it might be worth checking its website again to see if it will reduce prices further around Black Friday.
Before buying anything at Argos it is also worth checking what other retailers have on offer.
Sainsbury’s this week also launched a massive sale on more than a thousand toys including – Lego, Chad Valley, Barbie and Nerf.
Meanwhile, Hamley’s released its top stocking fillings and they all cost under £5.
More about Christmas 2017
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Hard-up Brits’ pay falls yet again — and there’s no sign of a raise before Christmas
HARD-UP Brits face a Christmas crunch after job figures revealed spending power was back at levels last seen 11 years ago. Despite a 94,000 surge in employment in the three months to the end of August – fuelled by women taking full-time posts – pay rose by just 2.2 per cent. Given spiralling inflation, it […]
HARD-UP Brits face a Christmas crunch after job figures revealed spending power was back at levels last seen 11 years ago.
Despite a 94,000 surge in employment in the three months to the end of August – fuelled by women taking full-time posts – pay rose by just 2.2 per cent.
Given spiralling inflation, it means ‘real’ earnings have now fallen for six months in a row.
And average wages adjusted for the cost of living are the same as in February 2006.
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn called for an immediate end to the public sector pay cap to reduce the pressure on millions.
But Stephen Clarke at the Resolution Foundation warned: “Today’s figures confirm the big picture trend.
“The UK labour market is good at creating jobs but terrible at raising people’s pay.
"The scale of the pay squeeze over the last decade is vast.”
Ian Brinkley, acting chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) added: “With no end in sight to this squeeze on living standards, many workers will be facing a Christmas period where they will once again be required to tighten their belts.”
Despite the wage blow, the job figures revealed yet another rise in the number of people in work and a fall in the jobless.
Employment jumped by 52,000 to more than 32 million. The number of people with a job is up 317,000 in the past year, with 277,000 of the increase women in full time work.
The female employment rate is at a record 70.7 per cent.
Unemployment fell by 52,000 to 1.44 million – a 12-year low.
Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: “Our economy is helping to create full time, permanent jobs which are giving people across the UK the chance of securing a reliable income.
"We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the national living wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for lowest earners in 20 years.”
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