Shops want Christmas to start early, but we're not biting

We’re not convinced by Christmas in August - but should we be?

Christmas snowman in santa hat at sandy beach

As far as the high street is concerned, it has been Christmas for months now. The decorators broke out the fake snow in August and they've been devoted to parting us from our cash ever since. Impressively, however, despite the fact that there are now just 50 days to Christmas, more than half of us aren't buying it - and haven't picked up a single present.

A survey by American Express found that we're not in a big rush to start shopping immediately now either, as 22% of people plan to leave all their Christmas shopping until December.

Around the country there are big differences in our Christmas preparations. In Cardiff, for example 93% of people will have started their Christmas shopping by December, while at the other end of the spectrum in Birmingham, 31% of people don't plan to lift a festive finger until then.

But while defying the pressure to shop for Christmas in the autumn shows strength of character, it might not be the best possible approach. There are five good reasons to start planning and shopping as soon as possible.

1. You can spread the cost
Ideally you will have been putting money aside all year to pay for Christmas, but when the money is in your account, there's always the risk you spend it. Buying a few presents as you go through the year is a foolproof way to spread the cost.

2. You avoid a last-minute panic
If you know you have weeks to think of the ideal gift for Aunty Joan, then there's less chance you'll end up buying something horribly overpriced or hideously unsuitable in a panic on the 24th.

3. You can save on delivery
There are still a few places where you can shop online and pick up for free - including Argos. If you give yourself plenty of time, you can factor the collection into your plans, and not pay a penny for delivery. If you buy at the last minute, you could end up paying a small fortune for express delivery.

4. You can buy during the sales
The big hitter is Black Friday, but between now and December there will also be sales popping up for a few days at a huge number of retailers. If you have toys to buy for example, there's the Argos, Tesco and Asda sales on, while if you want clothes you can currently get up to 25% off at Boden and £30 off at Joules - for a limited time only.

5. You can have a nicer December
What would you rather be doing during December: rushing around the shops every weekend, or enjoying Christmas markets, ice skating and winter woodlands walks?

But what do you think? Have you started your Christmas shopping yet, and do you have a good reason for waiting until December? Let us know in the comments.

Top ten facts about Black Friday

Top ten facts about Black Friday