Regardless of how organised you think you are, Christmas tends to be a rush for everyone. And while no one’s asking you to climb down any chimneys, there are a few important dates to remember before everyone’s favourite day of the year. So whether you’re sending gifts across the border or keeping it close to home, here are the Christmas deadlines you need to know.
Gift shopping in-store
Deadline: 18th December
During the final few days leading up to Christmas, your usually calm shopping centre turns a little hectic, or as my mother puts it, into a ‘madhouse’. While there is no proper deadline for completing all your gift shopping, it’s better to wrap it up early (get it?) to avoid the mob, a higher than anticipated credit card balance and even worse, spending 30 minutes looking for parking.
Gift shopping online
If you’re skipping your local Westfield this year for the convenience of online shopping, make sure you’re on top of the delivery cut off times for each retailer that you’re buying from – because there’s nothing worse than arriving at Christmas lunch with presents for almost everyone. Depending on the retailer, this type of information may not be available until the beginning of December.
Grocery shopping (in-store and online)
Deadline: 22nd December
We’re not going to lie, you may be playing with fire with this deadline, as the 23rd of December holds a notorious reputation as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But with the Christmas miracle that is click and collect, you can now order your groceries online and pick them up in store without having to line up.
And if you’re choosing to have your food delivered to you, supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths have different cut off times for orders made on their online stores. Cut off times mean you are no longer able to add, change or cancel your order without paying a fee – these vary between stores and are advertised during your shop or through email once you’ve made your order.
Credit card approval
Deadline: 30th November
During this time of year, our credit cards see the light of day more than usual. And if you’re thinking of getting a new card for the festive season for summer, gift or travel shopping, keep in mind that it usually takes around 10 days from approval to getting your new plastic in the mail, so it’s best to do this before December hits.
International Money Transfers (IMT)
Deadline: Early December
If someone overseas is expecting a stack of cash from you for Christmas, you’ll need to set up an IMT account. While you may able to do this through your regular bank, IMT specialists often offer better rates. The option you choose will depend on the amount you are sending, along with its destination and how quickly you need the money transferred. You’ll also need to allow enough time to set up your account, which can be done online, and for the transfer to go through when the exchange rate is good – most IMT specialists can complete a transfer within 1-3 days.
Post (within Australia)
Deadline: 22nd December
One of the downsides of Christmas is sometimes having to celebrate without everyone. For gifts that need to be delivered within Australia, the AusPost cut off for express next-day delivery is the 22nd of December, as post offices will stop delivering on the 24th of December. While you can still send out items on the 23rd, there’s no guarantee that it will arrive before Christmas Day.
But the great news is, if you’re expecting a number of gifts you’ve ordered online, AusPost recently have unveiled their new delivery program, Shipster. With Shipster, you’ll only need to pay a one-off fee of $9.95 to get free shipping on all eligible purchases from over 40 Aussies retailers until the 1st of January!
Deadline: 8th December
Wouldn’t it be easier if we really could stick our presents on a sleigh to be delivered by reindeers across the world for no shipping fee? Well until that time comes, international shipping is your next best thing. AusPost currently offer 4 shipping options: International Economy, International Standard, International Express and International Courier.
Each option varies in required shipping time, tracking abilities, weight limit of parcels and price. For example, International Standard allows you to send up to 20kg parcels from $17.76, while International Economy has a 2kg parcel limit that will cost $10.67.
Bear in mind that each option also comes with a set of forms that need to be filled out prior to sending as well as specific regulations and limits to what you can and can’t send abroad.
Wishlist to Santa
Deadline: 8th December
Watching children get excited about Santa’s arrival brings a smile to anyone’s face. In order to get the naughty and nice list up to scratch, let your child know that they’ll need to have finished their wishlist to Santa by the 8th of December.