Shopping for food is one of the most stressful Christmas tasks. It feels so overwhelming because huge crowds spark a primal "fight or flight" mechanism, a British psychologist claims.
Dr David Lewis says the number of people in the shops at Christmas triggers basic survival mechanisms which increases aggression.
Crowds, long queues at checkouts and parking headaches can quickly lead to frustration, irritation, exhaustion and anxiety.
So why fight over that final Christmas turkey or risk flying into a rage when you get home from the supermarket and realise you have forgotten those bloody mince pies again.
You don't even have to get off the sofa to have it delivered to your table. Online grocery shopping is beginning to click with Kiwis. Countdown supermarket will deliver to your door in time for Christmas. New World is trialling online schemes in Thorndon, Wellington, as well as in its Levin store.
The festive season sees a spike in online grocery sales, including people trying to avoid jam-packed stores.
Another mistake people make is Christmas food shopping when they are hungry, Lewis says. "You buy far more than you need and end up throwing a lot away. The sorts of foods we crave when hungry are high in sugar and fat."
But if you were thinking of cutting out shopping and cooking altogether and getting online service My Food Bag to deliver some ready-made festive feasts, you are too late. Christmas food bags to feed a family of 8-12 have sold out already.
Not too long ago, experts would have scoffed at the idea of masses of people shopping for presents on their mobile phones and other electronic devices. But why fight the crowds when you can do your shopping from your bed?
The arrival of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to our shores in recent years seems to have brought a new level of intensity to the pre-Christmas online rush. The two big international retailing days have crept into the New Zealand calendar.
In the US last year, Cyber Monday online sales grew to a record US$2.68 billion ($4b), compared with the previous year's US$2.29b. This year, sales topped US$3b.
Amazon and Trade Me are among the most popular online shopping sites with Kiwis in the countdown to Christmas. Others such as Fishpond, Mighty Ape and EziBuy do well, too.
Customers also flock online to homegrown stores such as Farmers, The Warehouse, Harvey Norman and Hallensteins for everything from electrical goods to furniture and clothes.
Online shopping emporiums like FashioNZ, FarFetch and Polyvore act like search engines for clothes, allowing shoppers to find what they want based on brand, style, colour and size.
And app-based deal sites such as GrabOne throw up daily bargains, including Christmas gifts for kids to attract festive trade. These include everything from half-price go-karts to affordable icecream-makers, headphones and toys.
Don't have time to get to a garden centre with the kids to spend hours arguing over the right tree?
Or perhaps you are fed up with having your car carpeted with those vaccuum-clear-clogging pine needles after picking one up from a roadside tree-seller.
Hundreds of real and artificial Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes are available at a click on Trade Me. Real trees can cost as little as $30 and be delivered to your door.
Even if a massive, 4.5m fake tree is what you are after and have a spare $500, no problem. And it will last for years.
For the budget-conscious, second- hand artificial trees are available on Trade Me from about $10.
The Groupon app deal site has been offering vouchers from $19 to choose and cut down your own trees at two locations in and around Auckland.
And popular online shopping sites like EziBuy and Fishpond also offer artificial trees delivered to your door.
If you are particularly flush, Fishpond has a bizarre-looking upside down artificial tree for $2539 and a luxurious cashmere one for $2599, including delivery, from the United States. But they have others from just $35.
If the traditional hall-decking and tree-decorating gives you a case of the Scrooges, electrify your Christmas decor by heading online.
The Mashable Australia site highlights alternatives to the usual tree baubles and offshore companies are offering a range of evil clowns, Christmas poo and Santa boogers. But beware, some of the other festive items are not for the faint-hearted or for kids.
The UK-based notonthehighstreet.com has a wide range of novelty tree decorations, including ex-boyfriend embroidered pin cushions and voodoo dolls.
Elsewhere there are wacky tree baubles featuring everything from guns to grenades, spaceships, creepy eyeballs, human skulls, naughty Santas and even cat and dog heads.
Other bizarre tree decorations include tin cockroaches from West Africa.
Men can also turn themselves into walking Christmas trees by wearing colourful beard baubles.
The mini metallic face decorations are available to buy from various online outlets but there are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube on how to make your own.
For women, Christmas dresses and jackets are available made entirely from glittering tinsel.
Gone are the days of families finishing Christmas dinner and tuning into yet another repeat of Mary Poppins or Love, Actually.
As soon as the turkey is finished, kids and parents are more likely to fragment and choose from their own telly smorgasbord on one of many digital devices.
Mum and Dad might still opt for viewing on a regular TV set in the living room. But they will be as likely to be watching something on-demand or a blockbuster movie recorded earlier using time-shifting technology as switching on scheduled festive offerings.
Viewers are already swamped with options for watching their favourite programmes - most content is available on TVs, PCs, laptops, iPads, tablets and smartphones.
TVNZ and TV3's 3Now will bombard people's senses with countless on-demand festive goodies.
Then there's Netflix, Lightbox, Neon, Apple TV and Quickflix to consider. And Sky has just launched a new on-demand service for subscribers to its basic package.
They are all rolling out biggies for Christmas.
New offerings from Netflix will include Bill Murray's A Very Murray Christmas, animated series' Care Bears and Cousins and F is For Family.
3Now has The Graham Norton New Year's Eve Special on New Year's Eve. Before that, the successful Lip Sync Battle Holiday Special launches from December 22.
TVNZ has still to unveil its Christmas schedules.
Popular on Neon will be two series of True Detective, with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.
A Wellington alcohol delivery service called Quenched shut its website in May after criticisms that it was providing an easy way for drunk people to "refuel".
Its slogans included "Delivering happiness" and "Need booze quick? We'll have it to your door in 45 minutes. Don't stop the party at your place early, we are here to help."
But ordering alcohol online has become increasingly popular.
Online booze service Liquor Mart is selling and delivering Christmas hampers with award-winning wine, chocolate, shortbread and more for $44.
Boozee in Auckland Central will deliver free on orders of more than $100 and has a track-and-trace option for customers anxious about their delivery.
Supermarket chain Countdown will drop off beer and wine to your door with the rest of your online shopping, or as a special delivery.
Don't miss out on family time
The new digital world is a great thing - but surely on the big day some traditions should be kept intact.
For a start, it might be a good idea to ban mobile phones from the dinner table.
These days it is not uncommon to see entire families fish out smartphones and place them in front of them the minute they sit down at a restaurant.
But who wants to see kids texting their friends or checking Facebook every few minutes when they are supposed to be having quality family time?
Older teens could even be swiping their picks on dating app Tinder while you are tucking into the turkey and stuffing.
And clearly, disappearing off to separate rooms after the hamfest to watch on-demand TV on tablets and cellphones is not in the true spirit of Christmas.
You may have seen evergreen movies like Elf and It's A Wonderful Life countless times, but watching together as a family is what really counts.
Sure, letting the kids loose on computer games like Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds will keep them amused - and quiet - for hours. But how about busting out board games - Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble - that include everyone, even if granddad is a bit worse for the wear from too much festive sherry?
Remember the old Christmas chestnut: kids can be as happy playing with the empty boxes and wrapping paper as they are trying out the high-tech goodies from inside.
Five must-have Christmas-themed apps
To ensure an appy Christmas, here are five, fun, festive, must-have apps for your phone or tablet.
There are great free family apps for Apple and Android such as Christmas list-writing tools and one that lets you track Santa's whereabouts on Christmas Eve.
This hilarious app will bring the family together. Upload each family member's face from your phone and put them on an elf's body. You can then watch your family dance and sing to a Christmas theme in a video that can be shared by email or on Facebook.
NORAD Tracks Santa
This will let you watch the countdown to Santa's flight from the North Pole on December 24 and follow his whereabouts on Christmas Eve as he travels around the world to deliver presents.
Create and send Christmas cards in minutes with Inkly. There are hundreds of designs to choose from or you can create your own by uploading your favourite family photos.
Manage Christmas - Christmas Gift List Manager
Struggling to keep on top of what you have bought so far and who is left to buy for? The Manage Christmas app helps you stick to your budget, keep track of what you have bought and log in any gift ideas as they spring to mind.
Santa Claus Yourself Xmas Photo Booth
How will you look with a Santa Claus beard? And how about putting your family in a Santa hat? Add hats, glasses, beards and more, then share your masterpieces on social media. This app is free and available for Apple iPhones and tablets.