It’s 30C outside, barbecues are firing up and many Brits are getting sunburned in the unseasonably hot September weather.
But supermarkets, broadcasters and high street shops are getting warmed up for the festive season instead – earlier than ever before.
It seems with a soggy summer, and a few years of muted Christmases thanks to lockdown, people are desperate to get the festivities started despite December 25 being months away.
Supermarket shocked shoppers by filling shelves with Christmas foods and drinks in August.
One shopper showed pictures from Tesco in Exeter – in the first week of August – showing boxes of Celebrations, Quality Street and Roses.
‘Never mind the whole ‘back to school shenanigans appearing everywhere. The first sign of Christmas has been spotted,’ they wrote.
Meanwhile, Channel 5 aired Christmas classic The Holiday on September 3rd this year – despite it being one of the hottest days of the year outside.
‘It’s never too early to watch The Holiday is it? Channel 5 putting it on when it’s the hottest day of the year is a shout,’ one person wrote on Twitter.
Elsewhere, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose have all launched their Christmas food collections – with Waitrose saying they want to allow savvy customers to spread costs and shop ahead this Christmas.
Liverpool ONE’s – the city’s shopping centre – has announced it’s Christmas plans, while John Lewis and Selfridges already have Christmas items on display.
So what exactly has brought on the early festivities?
COST OF LIVING
The cost of living crisis may certainly be a factor in getting celebrations earlier than ever.
While people may start planning for Christmas months in advance in order to spread the cost – they may also be looking for some festive cheer in a depressing time.
Waitrose has everything ready for a posh Christmas, with more than 140 new products this year.
The upmarket supermarket says that savvy customers have been prepping ahead of times with searches for ‘Christmas dinner ideas’ on Waitrose.com rise 51 per cent compared to the same period last year.
And, in a bid to spread the cost of the festive period frozen vegetables and party foods went on sale in August.
Other items with a longer shelf-life, like chocolates and mulled wine are already on shelves in Tesco and Sainsbury’s – allowing customers to spread the cost.
A soggy July and August may also be why people are looking forward to the festive season.
Despite a promising June, Brits endured cold spells in the typically sunny August – with many looking forward to the festive season instead.
Unable to do the usual summer activities of sunbathing and outdoor swimming – many Brits joked they’re prepping for Christmas instead.
‘August is basically finished, rain is pouring, I’m wearing a sweater and the weather is cold. At this point I can’t hold it anymore, it’s time. Family, merry Christmas,’ said one.
‘Bro this UK weather got me listening to Christmas music,’ said another.
‘Okay so since the weather in the UK wants to be unpredictable and not give us a proper summer. I’m gonna make a playlist consisting of Halloween, Christmas, summer, happy, sad songs and just press shuffle,’ joked a third.
‘There hasn’t been one but of consistent sun or any good weather this summer in the UK that I’m allowing myself to mentally progress to Halloween-Christmas time,’ said one.
LACK OF GOOD CHRISTMASES CAUSE OF LOCKDOWN AND TRAVEL DELAYS
The last few years have been plagued by lowkey Christmases due to lockdowns – meaning many Brits will go bigger than ever before this year.
Christmas 2022 was the first year which people could celebrate with their families restriction free since the Covid-19 pandemic.
But last December Brits faced travel chaos with hundreds of flights delayed and cancelled dampening celebrations.
Thousands of British Airways passengers across the globe were left stranded after dozens of long-haul flights were delayed and cancelled just days before Christmas because of a technical failure.
Desperate customers trying to get home for Christmas – including actress Elizabeth Hurley – were left stuck after multiple planes across the United States and Caribbean, bound for London Heathrow and Gatwick, were grounded before take off on Monday night.
The beleaguered airline was forced to apologise after axing flights out of Heathrow and leaving families waiting inside airports and on the tarmac across Europe, the US and Asia.
Meanwhile, Christmas 2021 was restricted, while Christmas 2020 ‘cancelled’ when the UK was plunged into lockdown 6 days before Christmas day.
Waitrose Christmas food range
Buffet bites and grazing boards
Christmas is the time to celebrate, whether you’re hosting all your family and friends, or planning a smaller affair with your nearest and dearest, we have a selection of delicious buffet bites and Christmas cheese to help you create a spread to impress.
Ensuring you can spend more time with guests and less time in the kitchen this Christmas. We also have seven new additions in our frozen party food range launching in September to allow savvy customers to spread costs and shop ahead this Christmas.
Waitrose Paneer Fries Paneer and grilling cheese in a spiced crumb, with mango chutney and crispy onion dip
Waitrose Feta Popcorn with Hot Honey Bitesize balls of whipped feta, soft cheese and goats cheese, with a quinoa flecked crumb for extra crunch and hot honey dip
Waitrose Red Fox Welsh Rarebit A deliciously creamy vintage Red Fox bake with a splash of ale and a hint of mustard
Waitrose Chestnut-fed Galician Serrano Ham Sweet and nutty ham made from free range pigs fed with chestnuts
Waitrose Shimmering Salmon Mousse Tender Scottish smoked and poached salmon mousse with a shimmering bronze lustre finish – available as a large sharing centrepiece as part of Waitrose Entertaining and a smaller-scale in shops
Waitrose Old Fashioned Smoked Salmon Hung and smoked in a traditional kiln over whisky cask oak chips, cured with salt and sugar finished with whisky, orange and bitters
Centrepieces and Sides
When celebrating over the festive season, it’s no longer just about the traditional turkey that takes pride of place at the big Christmas day lunch.
So we have a number of mains to suit all occasions, to ensure your spread is one that will have people talking for years to come.
And with higher welfare British beef with room to roam, MSC certified seafood that is responsibly farmed and caught and free-range British turkey – you can be sure your produce has come from farmers we know and trust.
Waitrose Jewelled Stuffed Bronze Turkey Crown Free Range British Bronze turkey crown with a pork and jewelled fruit stuffing, dry cured smoked streaky bacon, maple butter glaze, star shaped salted butter and a rosemary sprig.
Waitrose Old Fashioned Glazed Ham‘ Sugar pit’ dry cured boneless ham with a whisky and orange glaze, candied orange slices and smoke flavoured cherries – available on and off the bone
Waitrose 2 Mini Pork Stuffing Panettoni Outdoor bred British pork sausage meat has been laced with panettone crumb, raisins, lemon, cherries, sultanas and caramelised orange zest. Our fresh pork is always British and always outdoor bred or free-range.
Waitrose Shredded Sprouts and Cavolo Nero Spring greens, shredded sprouts and cavolo nero, with crispy maple smoked bacon, coated in a caramelised shallot glaze.
With searches for ‘plant based’ on Waitrose.com up 115 per cent compared to the same time last year we wanted to make this our biggest vegan Christmas ever with options for every dish.
Meaning you can create a whole plant based menu bursting with flavour, with no compromises.
Waitrose No.1 Ultimate Triple Nut Roast Richly savoury, with crunchy roasted nuts, sweet potato, lentils, chickpeas and a dash of miso, hand finished with a spiced clementine and apricot chutney glaze. Adorned in whole brazil nuts and almonds.
Waitrose Chestnut and Thyme Plant-Based Turkey Roast and Gravy Hearty plant based soya turkey roast, packed with thyme-scented chestnut and caramelised onion stuffing, served with a rich cabernet sauvignon gravy
Waitrose No.1 Ultimate Vegan Sharing Wellington Moreish mushroom duxelle with no ‘beef’ plant based beef braised in a fragrant shallot, garlic and thyme vegetable stock. Hand decorated with holly to finish.
Waitrose Fruity Stuffing Christmas Trees Apricot and cranberry stuffing decorated with cranberry and a herb breadcrumb
Cakes, Bakes & Desserts
With over 20 new products across desserts and bakery for 2023, there are plenty of sweet treats to be enjoyed by all this Christmas.
From showstopper desserts, to panettone with a modern twist and not forgetting a festive favourite – the mince pie.
Waitrose The Golden Bûche de Noël Belgian blonde chocolate mousse and silky salted caramel and caramelised biscuit sauce on milk chocolate speckled with caramelised biscuit
Waitrose Chocolate and Hazelnut Quenelle Rich hazelnut mousse with a silky milk chocolate sauce hiding inside, on a crisp chocolate base speckled with crunchy feuilletine and cookie crumb
Waitrose Cinnamon Bunattone Panettone meets cinnamon bun – a light cinnamon-spiced Italian cake with pockets of sweet mascarpone sauce. It’s served with a sachet of cinnamon icing sugar to finish. Made in a family-run bakery in Piedmont, Italy, our bunettone takes over 24 hours to create.
Waitrose No.1 Florentine-inspired Panettone Buttery panettone speckled with sultanas, cherries and Sicilian orange peel, swirled with caramel sauce and finished with dark chocolate, cherries, orange peel, almonds and Nocciola Piemonte IGP hazelnuts.
Waitrose Crumble Mince pies with Orange and Cranberry All butter mince pies filled with zesty mincemeat with a dash of Valencian orange oil, tangy cranberry and a buttery crumble on top.
Waitrose Deer-licious Sticky Toffee Pudding Sticky Toffee Pudding made with dates and gingerbread spices. To be finished at hom with a drizzle of the unctuous toffee sauce before adding the gingerbread antlers.
Waitrose Sicilian Orange and Whisky Christmas Pudding Richly fruited pudding laced with Scottish whisky and topped with red and blonde glacé cherries, almonds and candied orange then finished with a sticky Sicilian orange sauce.
Gift something delicious from Waitrose this Christmas! Including small gestures for the party host, keepsakes that a loved one will cherish and the perfect treats for your Christmas stocking. Also as part of our brand new Winter Village theme you’ll find our Winter Village Chocolate Box, Biscuit Tin and Poinsettia Musical Tin – ready to reuse again year after year!
We’re proud to continue our use of Fairtrade cocoa in all of our own-brand confectionery and as part of our efforts to remove unnecessary packaging where we can, we have removed non recyclable wooden packaging and replaced it with recyclable card – saving over eight tonnes of packaging from going to landfill.
Waitrose Winter Village Chocolate Box
A 3D showstopper with hidden drawers housing tempting chocolates inside 12 dark chocolates made with zesty Valencia orange, and 12 silky milk chocolate salted caramels.
Waitrose Panettone Chocs
Real Italian panettone is mixed into smooth milk chocolate and given a shimmering lustre in our indulgent panettone truffles. With tangy orange peel for extra fruitiness.
Waitrose Merry the Mince Pie Our new little festive friend, Merry is made from hollow white chocolate with just a touch of milk chocolate.
Asda’s Christmas food range
Extra Special Cured Salmon Edged in Signature Pastrami Spice Bend
Asda’s Scottish salmon is cured with a traditional salt and sugar blend. Hand garnished with a signature spice blend including hints of cracked black pepper, smoked paprika, star anise, cinnamon, and ginger.
Extra Special Sundried Tomato Stuffed Monkfish wrapped in Prosciutto
Looking for something a little different to serve to your guests? This meaty British monkfish tail is infused with a tangy sundried tomato and lemon stuffing. Wrapped in prosciutto and complimented with rosemary and sage basting butters. A spectacular centrepiece to impress guests.
Extra Special Porchetta
Made using expertly butchered British, Yorkshire bred pigs. In true Italian style, the meat is hand rolled in a bespoke seasoning of fennel, garlic, olive oil and lemon zest for a deliciously succulent roast with a perfect crackling top.
Extra Special Ruby Port Drenched Sirloin
A luxurious option for your Christmas dinner centrepiece, our 21-day matured sirloin is soaked in Ruby port for 9 days and accompanied with a port drizzling sauce for extra juiciness
Extra Special Chocolate & Orange Panettone Asda’a panettone is made at a second generation, family-run bakery in the Piedmont region of Italy with an all-butter recipe, made with a mother dough nurtured since 1964. This Italian sweet bread is made with Belgian milk chocolate chunks, candied orange peel, butter and injected with a chocolate and orange sauce. Finally, the dessert is topped with dark chocolate and decorated with milk and dark chocolate flakes.
OMV! Strawberry Trifle A great alternative to a dairy based trifle that does not compromise on flavour. A tangy strawberry compote is made from whole strawberries. Topped with hand placed egg free sponge then a dairy free custard. Finished with a lentil and coconut cream.
Extra Special Chocolate & Honeycomb Avalanche Dessert This frozen dessert is a real showstopper! Salted caramel semi freddo filled with salted caramel sauce, milk chocolate shavings and honeycomb pieces. Finished with milk chocolate sauce and hand placed honeycomb pieces. Customers are invited to remove the collar at the table allowing the sauce to flow down the dessert, creating a real talking point.
Extra Special Chocolate Espresso Martini Cream Liqueur Cold Brew South American Arabica coffee is combined with triple distilled vodka, double cream, cocoa bean extract and sugar syrup. Shake over ice for 30 seconds and pour into a chilled Martini glass to create the most luxurious crema foam top.