Essential Christmas Dates - Get Them in Your Diary Now

Whether you're in the Christmas zone yet or not, here are all the important dates you need to know.  We've covered the supermarket delivery dates, last post dates, when to shop, and more.  To make sure you're organised, get them marked in your diary and circled on your calendar today.

Key Dates

20th November - Stir-up Sunday

The traditional day to make your Christmas pudding.  Will you make your own this year?  You could also make your own Christmas cake, or if that seems too much, just batch bake some mince pies to get in the zone!

25th-26th November - Switch-on Saturday (and Friday) The big cities may have already done theirs, but most smaller towns and villages will be having their switch on this Friday or Saturday. Look out for local event listings or search online for details of what's going on near you.

27th November - First Sunday of Advent

The perfect day to go to church if you've been meaning to all year!

Last Posting Dates

Most post offices will be open for longer hours from Monday 28th November, check your 'Something for you' missed delivery card for local details.

28th November - last day for posting Airmail to Operational BFPOs

3rd December - last day for posting to Africa and the Middle East

7th December - last day for posting to Cyprus, Asia, Far East (including Japan), and Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)

8th December - last day for posting to the Caribbean, Central and South America

10th December - last day for posting to Greece, Australia, New Zealand

12th December - last day for posting Airmail to Static BFPOs

14th December - last day for posting to the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland

15th December - last day for posting to Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA

16th December - last day for posting to Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland

17th December - last day for posting to Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

20th December - last day for posting 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For®

21st December - last day for posting 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For®

22nd December - last day for posting Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®

23rd December - last day for Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed

Deliveries and collections will be as a normal Saturday on Christmas Eve, then normal service will resume from Wednesday 28th December.  Monday 2nd January is a Bank Holiday, so there will be no deliveries or collections then.

Supermarket Delivery Slots

Asda: Booking opens on 17th November for deliveries until 23rd December.  Change or top up your basket up until midnight the day before your delivery.

Marks & Spencer: Not available for delivery, but if you are ordering food online do it now and you'll get a voucher for a free bottle of wine!

Ocado: Open now for Smart Pass customers, on general release from Saturday 5th November.

Sainsbury's: Slots open up 3 weeks before delivery date, so 23rd December will become available on 2nd December.  But those who have a Sainsbury’s Delivery Pass can book four weeks in advance, so book from 25th November for a 23rd December delivery.

Tesco: Booking opens for Delivery Saver customers on 26th November.  For regular customers, slots open up 3 weeks before delivery date, so 23rd December will become available on 2nd December.

Waitrose: Delivery slots are open now, but the ones closest to Christmas are booking up fast.  Just pop a bottle of Champagne over £25 in your trolley and check out, then you have up to around 24 hours before delivery to amend your delivery.  (You can always remove the Champagne!)  Waitrose Entertaining items can be collected in store up until Christmas Eve afternoon.

When to Shop

21st November - Amazon deals week - started early, deals on now!

Amazon deals will be launching a whole week of discounts, updated daily.  It's also worth popping the things you want in your basket and seeing how the prices come down.

25th November - Black Friday

It wasn't as manic last year, thank goodness, but there will still be plenty of bargains to be had if you hit the High Street and the big supermarkets today.  Avoid the crowds by seeing what bargains come up online over the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

26th November - Civilised Saturday

Launched by bookshops last year as an antidote to the Black Friday mayhem, there will be events, deals and discounts nationwide, including free bubbly and hand massages.  What could be better than browsing a book shop on a chilly autumn day?

28th November - Cyber Monday

Having heard the tills ringing on Friday, the major retailers will be upping the ante further online today, with many amazing deals going live from 00.01am.  Many sites also release new deals every hour, so sign up to your favourite stores' e-mailing lists now, or keep a keen eye on them during the day.  The only problem is many of us have to work, so if you can get online during working hours you'll be at an advantage.  Just make sure with all the super sale frenzy that these are things you actually want/need, it's all too easy to get carried away.

29th November - Giving Tuesday

Fed up with the commercial frenzy?  Donate your time, skills, money or resources to charity today.  Find out more at

3rd December - Small Business Saturday

Capitalism with conscience, why not support your local high street on Small Business Saturday when lots of local shops will be offering discounts and special offers, and hosting special events.  You may even be offered a complimentary mince pie or glass of mulled wine...  Find out more at

4th December - Sofa Sunday

Sofa Sunday will see many of us slumped over laptops, tablets and phones on the sofa, made-for-TV Christmas movies murmuring in the background.  It's the biggest online shopping day of the year, with the most purchases being made 9-11pm.  Will you be one of the spenders?  Get your loungewear ready now!  (Alternatively, head to the real shops while everyone else is at home!)

12th December - Manic Monday

(Just another) Manic Monday, another key day for those big deals as the retailers assess how much stock needs to go over the next couple of weeks.  Grab a bargain!

16th December - last order date for Very

17th December - last order date for Bettys and House of Fraser

18th December - last order date for Amazon, Argos, Boden, John Lewis, Joules, M&S, The Entertainer, Argos, Majestic and Next

19th December - last order date for most other retailers

23rd December - The Big Supermarket Shop

The busiest supermarket shopping day of the year, with mid-morning being the quieter time.  Check our Ultimate Christmas Shopping List so you don't forget anything.

See our guide to your best Christmas ever for more helpful tips and ideas.

And don't forget to enter our competitions!


  1. This is fantastic! So helpful. Thank you!

    1. You're very welcome. I did one last year that was hugely popular so thought I'd oblige this year too!


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