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We know what you are thinking - Christmas? CHRISTMAS? It's not even November yet!! We know, we know, but hear us out... as of today there are only 66 days until the dreaded C word and when you think of it like that, there really isn't as much time as you think. Of course its not really dreaded, the actual holiday is wonderful - relaxation, food, drinks, presents, merriment - no its not the day itself that is dreaded, its all the planning that goes in beforehand, and precisely the shopping for gifts. If you are already thinking about the amount of work that needs to be done, the presents that need to be bought, the food that needs to be prepared, the travel that needs to be organised, the decorations that need to be brought down from the attic and dusted off once again, then reading this may already be bringing you out in a cold sweat. But, fear not as that is exactly why we are writing this post now and not in a months time, because its never too early to start planning. Planning ahead now and doing things in stages will have you feeling all smug and organised as December approaches and everyone else is running around like headless chickens trying to find that perfect gift. So what can you do now to make Christmas shopping a much less stressful task? 1. Make Wishlists - buying gifts is always a lot easier if you have a rough idea of the type of things you are looking for. Most online sites now have a wishlist function, meaning you can ask loved ones to add things they fancy along the way, or why not even everyone to create a Christmas wishlist Pinterest board and you can all share with one another? The gift will still be a surprise on the day as they won't know exactly which item you have chosen but at least everyone gets something they love! Just don't forget to create one for yourself too! You can follow us on Pinterest here, and don't forget to pin your fave items from our site! 2. If somethings right, don't delay - how often have you had a great idea for a Christmas gift only to go back in December and find its no longer available/ sold out and had to go back to the drawing board? If you know someone will love something, then why wait? The chances are their tastes won't change that drastically within a few months so save yourself that last minute stress and go with your instincts. The only thing you need to worry about then is a good enough hiding place. At Anna Lou of London we have already started stocking up on some of our best sellers for the Christmas period so get in early and start shopping! 3. Factor in extra delivery times - Many sites get so inundated with orders in December that their usual delivery times may no longer apply, then on top of that the postal services can take up to twice as long during the Christmas period, so if you are buying online don't forget to allow plenty of time for your order to get to you. Even throughout December, at Anna Lou of London we try to keep our delivery times as fast as possible to make sure you get your pieces in time but there are still those who forget that bespoke pieces can take up to two weeks to personalise. So if you are planning something bespoke, we recommend you get in touch with your ideas as far in advance as you can! 4. Finally, don't panic - Christmas can be a stressful time for many families, especially parents but lets face it everyone usually has a jolly good time no matter what presents they get and ultimately its a holiday of celebration and a chance to spend quality time with loved ones so its best to remember that when you find yourself pushing through the frantic crowds of a shopping centre on Christmas Eve! Do you pre-plan your Christmas shopping? Any other tips on how to save time?  

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