Anyone venturing anywhere near a shop in the next four weeks can expect endless queues, frantic shoppers and a reasonable chance of getting trampled under-foot. The sensible alternative is to take your debit card online instead, and shop from the comfort of your sofa.
The only thing to worry about then is whether you have left it too late to order.
If you're starting to panic, it's worth checking out the list compiled by vouchercodespro.co.uk, showing the last order dates for some of the most popular online retailers if you want things delivered in time for Christmas.
H Samuel (personalised)
Avon (Standard delivery)
The Body Shop
Thorntons (standard delivery)
Great Little Trading Company
Urban Outfitters (standard delivery)
Feel Unique (standard delivery)
Hotel Chocolat (standard delivery)
Interflora (standard delivery)
Look Fantastic (standard delivery)
Buy a Gift (standard delivery)
Amazon (standard delivery)
Avon (next day delivery)
Feel unique (next day delivery)
Firebox (next day delivery)
Urban Outfitters (next day delivery)
The White Company
BHS (standard delivery)
House of Fraser (standard delivery)
Prezzybox (standard delivery)
Topman (standard delivery)
Ernest Jones (standard delivery)
Buy a Gift (express delivery)
The Fragrance Shop (standard delivery)
Firebox (next day courier)
Topman (next day delivery)
The White Company (next day delivery)
Look Fantastic (next day delivery)
BHS (next day delivery)
House of Fraser (next day delivery)
Thorntons (next day delivery)
Hotel Chocolat (next day delivery)
Littlewoods (next day delivery)
Prezzybox (next day delivery)
Interflora (next day delivery)
Ernest Jones (next day delivery)
The Fragrance Shop (next day delivery)
Amazon (next day delivery)
Don't forgetThe good news is that you have more than two weeks to get shopping - so there's time to wait for payday. However, if you plan to receive the presents, check them, wrap them, and send them on, you could find that time is getting a bit tighter.
The last posting day for second class post is Tuesday 18 December, so you can subtract seven days from all of the above dates, meaning the first of the retailer deadlines will start to bite on 5 December - next Thursday.
Once this day has passed, you can order elsewhere, pay for faster delivery, or pay for gift-wrapping and delivery directly to the person you want to give the gift to. In theory you could leave all your online shopping until the 23rd December and still get away with it.
And for the last-minuters, there's still no reason to venture to the shops on Christmas Eve, because there are always evouchers you can print at home or email to your nearest and dearest.
What about Christmas cards?
To beat the Christmas rush, make sure you send your Christmas cards before the recommended last posting date.
If you are sending Christmas cards to friends and family within the UK then you still have over 2 weeks.
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed letters should be posted by Monday December 23rd. The recommended last posting date for 1st class and Royal Mail Signed For letters is Friday December 20th and the deadline for 2nd class and Royal Mail Signed For letters is Wednesday December 18th.
If you are planning on sending cards to friends and family living abroad, time is running out. The recommended last posting dates for International Airmail including Airsure and International Signed For are just around the corner.
The last recommended posting date for Ireland and other countries in Western Europe (excluding France, Poland and Greece) is Saturday December 14th. If you want your cards to be delivered to Canada, France, Greece or Poland in time for Christmas then be sure to send them before Tuesday December 10th. The deadline for sending cards to the USA is Friday December 13th. If you want your cards to reach Eastern Europe or Cyprus before December 25th then pop them in the post by Tuesday December 10th. The last recommended posting date for Africa, Caribbean, Central & South America and the Middle East is Friday December 6th. If you are sending Christmas cards 'down under' then you will have to get them in the post by Thursday December 5th if you want them to make it to Oz in time. The last date for posting cards to Asia, Far East (including Japan) and New Zealand is is almost upon us so be sure to post those cards before Wednesday December 4th.