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

15th November - City lights

Many cities are having their switch on event this day, e.g Guildford, York and Glasgow, also Seven Dials and Regent Street in London.

23rd-24th November - Switch-on Saturday (and Friday)

Most smaller towns and villages will be having their switch on this Friday or Saturday.  Although, some are waiting until the next weekend for theirs.  Look out for local event listings or search online for details of what's going on near you.

25th 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!

2nd December - First Sunday of Advent

The first of the four Advent Sundays, and 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 late November on.  Check your 'Something for you' missed delivery card for local details.

3rd November (yep this weekend!) - last day for Royal Mail International Economy to Eastern Europe, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Malta and Iceland and Singapore

17th November - last day for Royal Mail International Economy to Western Europe

26th November - last day for posting Airmail to Operational BFPOs

4th December - last day for posting to Africa and the Middle East

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

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

10th December - last day to Greece, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand

14th December - last day to USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy and Poland

14th December - last day for posting Airmail to Static BFPOs

15th December - last day to Finland and Sweden

17th December - last day to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland

17th December - last day for Parcelforce Worldwide International globalexpress worldwide

18th December - last day for 2nd class posting in the UK, and to Ireland, Belgium, France and Luxembourg

19th December - last day for Parcelforce Worldwide International to Ireland

20th December - last day for 1st class posting and Royal Mail Tracked48

21st December - last day for Royal Mail Tracked 24

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

Deliveries and collections will be as normal on Saturday 23rd December, there may be additional deliveries on Christmas Eve, then normal service will resume from Wednesday 27th December.

Supermarket Delivery Slots

Lots of 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 order.  (You can always remove the Champagne!)


Open now.

Marks & Spencer

Not available for delivery, but you can order food online for collection.  Get free wine or chocolates if you order before 11th November.


Opening soon.


Open now.


Slots open on 23rd November for Delivery Pass customers, on 30th November for everyone else.


Slots open from 30th November for Delivery Saver customers.  Join their Delivery Saver plan by 24th November to be eligible to book one.


Open now.  Waitrose Entertaining items can be ordered in advance and collected in store up until Christmas Eve afternoon.

When to Shop

16th November - Amazon deals week

Like last year, 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.

23rd 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.

24th 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?

26th 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.

27th November - Giving Tuesday

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

1st 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

2nd 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!)

10th 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!

15th-19th December

Last order dates for most 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.

3.30pm is the last order time for Amazon Prime next day deliveries for all those last-minute gifts!

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

  2. This time of year is so busy that it’s hard to keep track of everything! This list is helpful because all the dates are in one place. Thanks for putting this together!

  3. Super helpful list!!!! I've pinned it as well. Now I have no excuse for not being organized this holiday season. )

  4. Wow, it'll be so handy having all of this in one list, thank you!

  5. Ooo wowzers going to print this
    Will be a saviour


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