Have you been naughty or nice this year? Some would argue there's still a chance to get off the naughty list but time might have run out.

Christmas has arrived early, like three months early - well, kind of.

Spring has only just sprung, lambs are frolicking, flowers are sprouting and, 104 days out from December 25, the Christmas spirit has already started.

This morning, hidden away in the business section of the Herald, an advertisement reminding people to book their Christmas party was printed.


"Don't let Christmas get on top of you - Book your party now," it said.

Astonishingly, other organisations have also jumped on the Christmas bandwagon already, 104 days before Santa's busiest day.

And to put some context into how far away we are from Christmas, it is still 49 days until Halloween and it was 105 days ago that Budget 2019 was announced.

Throughout the country, Christmas-specific stores are popping up with decorated trees and colourful lights. Even advent calendars are for sale.

Big retailers start planning for Christmas in January. However, from now on we'll see more hints of the impending season, retail expert Chris Wilkinson said.

"Some retailers make up to 80 per cent of their sales in the months ahead of Christmas, so any way to extend this key period is eagerly sought.

The Christmas-themed advertising in the Herald this morning.
The Christmas-themed advertising in the Herald this morning.

"It's primarily about choice, selection and budgeting, but increasingly also about taking the stress of this busy time of the year.

"Popular products often sell out quickly and consumers can be disappointed, so securing 'must-haves' early is a smart move."


New Zealand retailers generally settled on late October as being when it was "bearable" for consumers to see Christmas goods on the shelves.

At The Warehouse, advent calendars, a small selection of Christmas decorations, cards, wrapping paper and confectionery are the first items stocked.

The opportunity to buy Christmas product earlier coincided with indications from the Kiwi public they wanted to start planning and budgeting earlier.

However, a spokesperson said the bulk of The Warehouse's Christmas product wouldn't be in stores until after Labour weekend, after October 28.

The front page of the Herald 104 days ago - the same time away from Christmas.
The front page of the Herald 104 days ago - the same time away from Christmas.

Meanwhile, online store Mighty Ape announced on Facebook advent calendars had arrived for sale on September 2, two days later stock was flying out the door.

Chris Rudd, general manager of publishing (commercial) for NZME (which owns the Herald), said businesses had already started to book Christmas advertising.

"The old rule of thumb with clients was they started to book after Labour weekend as that gave them a sense of the market.

"However, Black Friday has become so big now that has had an impact on Labour weekend and Christmas."