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Start your Christmas shopping now and relax in December

PUBLISHED: 13:58 07 November 2019

intu Chapelfield's fantastic Christmas lights will get you into the festive spirit. Picture: intu Chapelfield.

intu Chapelfield's fantastic Christmas lights will get you into the festive spirit. Picture: intu Chapelfield.

KIRSTY SMITH photography

Picture this: it's December 1, your Christmas shopping is done and you're at home in the warm, feet up, enjoying a mince pie and a Christmas film. Meanwhile, last minute Christmas shoppers are scurrying around, wishing they'd started their shopping sooner.

Meet Father Christmas at intu Chapelfield's giant, sparkly bauble. Visit intu.co.uk/chapelfield to book your slot. Picture: intu Chapelfield.Meet Father Christmas at intu Chapelfield's giant, sparkly bauble. Visit intu.co.uk/chapelfield to book your slot. Picture: intu Chapelfield.

Some people love leaving their Christmas shopping until the last minute, but that can make it stressful and some of the gifts you had on your list could be out of stock. Planning ahead and shopping in November instead of December could help to minimise your shopping worries, save you money and make it an enjoyable day out.

Sheridan Smith, marketing manager at intu Chapelfield told us why intu Chapelfield is the ideal place to do your Christmas shopping and why November is the best time to start.

Join intu's happy band of excitable elves at 'Elf University'. Picture: intu Chapelfield.Join intu's happy band of excitable elves at 'Elf University'. Picture: intu Chapelfield.

November is the new December

If you put off your Christmas shopping until the final weeks before the big day you're likely to spend more money on panic buys, making an already expensive month even more costly. By starting your shopping in November you'll give yourself plenty of time to find gifts within your budget, and also have time to shop around for the best price.

Sheridan said: "Starting your Christmas shopping in November will make you feel so much more organised. It will allow you to spread the cost over two months and give you a chance to have an 'ideas' shopping trip where you can look out for gift inspiration and start writing your list, without the pressure of having to make a purchase there and then.

"The shops are not quite so busy, so unless you thrive on the Christmas shopping buzz it's easier to shop, with fewer queues and a more relaxing atmosphere. It's also wise to start earlier if a family member or friend desperately wants the most sought after toy, tech or gift this Christmas."

By starting early you will avoid intu Chapelfield's busiest days in the lead up to Christmas. Sheridan told us: "Weekends in December and the final two weeks before Christmas are the busiest for us. The great thing about shopping at intu Chapelfield in November is that it feels as festive as December would. Our Christmas lights and decorations are up and we have 'Elf University', which is a really fun workshop for the whole family to take part in. Everyone gets to attend workshops, with our happy band of excitable elves, to learn the key skills for Santa's little, and large, helpers."

Extended opening hours

intu Chapelfield has extended opening hours throughout November and December to help you get your Christmas shopping done during less busy times and allow people who'd prefer not to shop at weekends to shop after work. During November, they'll be open until 9pm on Thursdays for late night shopping and throughout December the opening hours are 9am-7pm Monday to Wednesday, 9am-9pm Thursdays and 9am-8pm Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday hours are 11am to 5pm, but many shops will open earlier for browsing.

Plenty of places for a pit stop

Shopping is thirsty work. Luckily you won't need to venture out into the cold because intu Chapelfield has a wide range of cafés and restaurants serving festive treats and delicious hot drinks and food. Do you need a coffee to keep you going or a hot chocolate to warm you up? There's a Costa, Pret, Caffè Nero and Zest in House of Fraser. Feeling hungry? intu Chapelfield has Ask Italian, Yo Sushi, Wagamama, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Byron and Ed's Easy Diner to name just a few.

Treat yourself to a Christmas party outfit

Doing your Christmas shopping in November means fewer queues. Fewer queues means you'll get your shopping done quicker, giving you time to hunt for the perfect party outfit for the festive season. Sheridan said: "At intu Chapelfield you can find everything you need from that special dress for Christmas Day to festive pyjamas and Christmas jumpers for the whole family.

"We have House of Fraser, Zara, Monsoon, River Island and H&M and for those all-important accessories to complete your outfit, head to Accessorize and Lovisa. You won't be disappointed!"

Visit intu Chapelfield at 40-46, St Stephens St, Norwich or head over to intu.co.uk/chapelfield to find out more.

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