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Only 145 shopping days to Christmas shopping

Britain may be enjoying a hot summer at the moment, but Selfridges department store in London's Oxford Street is set to open its Christmas shopping section on 2 August, 145 days before the day itself.

Shoppers keen to plan ahead can purchase pre-lit trees, crackers, fairy lights or even a £500 life-size donkey. They can also get into the festive spirit by painting their own baubles. The store said previous sales had shown that some customers, especially overseas tourists, started thinking about Christmas during August.

Last year, Selfridges' festive shop sold more than 1,000 baubles during the first week of trading after opening on 8 August.