6th December 2016

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The ultimate guide to Christmas 2016

What day does Christmas 2016 fall on?

This year Christmas Day is on a Sunday.

When is the last UK posting day?

Royal Mail’s latest recommended Christmas posting dates for delivery in the UK in 2016 are:

Tuesday, December 20 for second class mail

Wednesday, December 21 for first class mail

Thursday, December 22 for special delivery 

Friday, December 23 for special delivery Saturday

What about sending post internationally?

The dates might be sooner than you think, so take note. If you have friends and family living Down Under, Saturday 10 December is recommended for packages to Australia and New Zealand. For those across the pond in the US and Canada, the last day for International Standard is Thursday 15 December. For delivery dates to Europe and for all other international destinations, check the last postal dates at  http://www.royalmail.com/greetings

What about posting to the armed forces?

The cut-off for standard airmail to operational British Forces Post Office (BFPOs) is Mon 28th Nov and to static BFPOs, it’s Monday 12th December.

When is the last day to send a letter to Santa Claus?

Royal Mail will send a letter from Santa Claus for free. If you are hoping for a reply from Father Christmas, post him a letter by Friday, December 9. This is the address you need:

Santa / Father Christmas Santa’s Grotto Reindeerland XM4 5HQ

Make sure you include a full name and address so Father Christmas can write back.

Can I track Santa?

Yes, GPS is a wonderful thing. You can countdown the days to Santa’s flight via the mobile app NORAD from the 1st December as well as monitor his progress to find out when he’ll be arriving in the UK on the 24th Dec. 

When is the last day to order a Christmas food online from most large supermarkets?

If you usually order your festive food online, you'll be aware that the favourite delivery dates of Christmas Eve and 23 December fill up weeks in advance. It’s a case of first come first served, so book early to avoid disappointment. We recommend that you can be flexible with dates and delivery times. Remember, once you’ve booked your slot you can keep adding and amending your order until a day or two before delivery but please always check full terms and conditions of the store you’re ordering from. Here’s the latest information to help you get ahead.

For Waitrose and Sainsburys you can order your turkey and all the festive trimmings online up to and including 15th December with last deliveries on the 23rd December. At Sainsburys you can book your Christmas delivery slot three weeks before your chosen delivery date. For example, slots for the  23rd December become available on the 2nd December. At Waitrose booking slots are now open.

If you order from Tesco you need to pre-order your festive food online before 11.45pm on 14th December to make sure you have it in time for Christmas. If you are a delivery saver customer you can reserve a slot online from 26 November, other customers can do so from 30 November. If you shop in Morrison’s you can order in-store by 7pm on 14th December for a 3pm collection on Christmas Eve and last orders for online is 21st December for a delivery on the 24th Dec. Booking is now open for delivery.

To collect in-store from Marks & Spencer you have until 5pm on 15th December to place your food orders. Slots have been available since beginning Oct and fill up fast.  We advise that you can be flexible with your dates.

You don’t have to worry ordering online if you shop at LIDL as they don’t offer this service, simply head straight to your local store on the 19th Dec where you can collect a fresh bird and other festive foods. Available while stocks last.

When is the last day you can order Christmas gifts online?

Last day for online shopping will largely depend on what you are ordering and the delivery method you choose.

If you want your House of Fraser goodies before Christmas day order by midnight on 23rd December to collect in store on the Christmas Eve. Order by 18th Dec for Standard Delivery and order by 7pm on 22nd December for Next Day Delivery.

Last orders from fashion & beauty giant ASOS for Standard UK delivery is 23:59 on the 20th December and for Express delivery, have your order complete by 8pm on the 23rd December.

At John Lewis order by 8pm on Thurs 22 Dec for Named day Delivery and Click and Collect OR by 7pm on Tues 20th Dec for Standard UK Delivery.

Argos’s Fast Track service pulls out all the delivery stops and will deliver your gifts until 6pm on Christmas Eve, with last order time at 1pm. There are no evening slot deliveries between 7pm- 10pm on Christmas Eve.

At Notonthehighstreet.com all products should be available to post on standard delivery until the 15th December. This is when we start promoting express delivery (which we advise to use!) up until the 22nd December. Express delivery has a higher postal cost though. All postal costs will be different depending on the small business partner and how they choose to post their items. Products bought on express delivery can be delivered up to 22nd December. There is an option when you're shopping in the side bar to search for products with Express Delivery so this will help when looking for products that can be delivered before Christmas. 

We highly recommend fully checking the terms and conditions with the store you’re purchasing from and how you can keep track of your orders. It’s also worth keeping an open mind when it comes to Christmas delivery expectations!

When should you put your Christmas tree up?

While the Victorians waited until Christmas Eve, nowadays, the tradition is a little earlier, 12 days before Xmas - on the 13th Dec to be exact. Of course, there are some who just can’t keep to tradition and start to deck the halls from as early as the beginning of Dec.

When should you take it down?

Generally trees are taken down on the Twelfth Night or 5th January. It is considered bad luck to have a tree up after this date.

What time is the Queen’s Speech?

The tradition of watching the Queen’s speech dates back to 1932 when King George V read a special speech written by Rudyard Kipling. The Queen has broadcast every year bar one in 1969 when her greeting took the form of a written address. You can tune in from 3pm on Christmas Day, BBC One and ITV.

We hope that you find this information useful. Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!