Oh no, don’t you start as well! So said my darling wife; the Summer Sales are only just over here in Spain but Christmas is now around the corner. What on Earth can I mean? Surely there are more than three months to Christmas? Not if you need to get your Christmas Parcels and Presents sent by Courier or Post to or from Spain. Here in Spain the Christmas Lottery “El Gordo” is already on sale in bars and cafés. What are your Christmas deadlines?
There are 14 weeks until Christmas. Last year so many people left getting their Christmas Gifts down to Spain until the last moment that we had to open many offices especially late on Christmas Eve to accomodate them. Not this year so please pay attention.
Working backwards from Friday 24 December, the last guaranteed date for posting before Christmas with Royal Mail is going to be around 10 December for the UK and 3 December for Spain. Citibox’s last Courier Shipment of Post to Spain will leave our Birmingham warehouse on 16th December – if it is not there by that date it will not be with you in Spain before Christmas.
The Oxford Street lights will be turned on 3rd November 2010, under seven weeks away. This marks the start of the desperate season when British shopkeepers try and turn their annual-loss-to-date into a profit.
If you wait until November, you really only have a month to do all the shopping that you need. This year we are having wild duck sent down from England for our Christmas Lunch. What a treat, especially for us but also for the two lovely families that are kindly coming to Spain to share our festive season. These need to be couriered fresh around 17th December so that they can hang (mature) en-route.
Then, for us, Christmas needs a whole Stilton Cheese which really needs to be here in November so that we can take its top off and pour Port into the cheese to give it that extra special flavour. Talking of Port, that needs to come down from the UK too, together with Ginger Wine that goes so well with whisky as a whisky-mac, Christmas Crackers too. You can´t really get any of these in Spain.
What will we be sending the other way? Zara clothing, the latest fashions are only available in Spain and they really give cachet if only for the short time before they arrive in the UK. Every Christmas, we send beautiful Spanish pottery and salamis, chorizos and olive oil to our families in the UK. Relying on FedEx, we can send these mid-December without having to worry about whether they will arrive before Christmas.
Of course there are Christmas Cards too for sending from and to Spain. To be safe you need to receive your cards in West Bromwich before 15 December which means your well-wishers posting them 2nd class by Monday 6 December or so. To send your cards from Spain to the UK with Royal Mail, even First Class, please don´t leave it later than 10th December.
This year we’ve hit a gold-mine with fabulous products from China for pennies, literally, but of such good quality that we will be buying buckets of gadgets from eBay seller 365digital. Allow three weeks for this to arrive in the UK so buy before Bonfire Night to be sure.
So, to be comfortable, you’ve done all your shopping and cards before the end of November. We get our cards from Vistaprint and they take two weeks to arrive plus two weeks to write before we post them. Order by Guy Fawkes day too.
We are only two weeks away from the beginning of October. Christmas is far closer than we would like it to be but those wise people who prepare early will find it far less stressful than those who wait in vain for their parcels to arrive on Christmas Eve. This won’t be my last word on Christmas but enjoy your preparations.