RETAILERS are already slashing prices in a bid to drum up custom.
With 13 shopping days left till Christmas, bargain hunters are being lured by significant discounts as businesses vie to get shoppers in the door.
They include Woodies, which is offering 20pc off Christmas trees and lights and 50pc off decorations.
Argos, meanwhile, said it will be offering daily deals between now and Christmas – although its half-price toy sale ended yesterday.
Tesco has a half-price toy offer running on selected items until Christmas.
A spokesperson said this covered around 200 lines, including the Monopoly board game, Peppa Pig 3-in-1 Puzzle and Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Musical Mobile.
Debenhams has offers of between 30 and 50pc off some of its clothing lines. For example, Julien Macdonald dresses have been cut from €109 to €54.50 and men's Barney brown leather aviator jackets are down from €225 to €150.
Arnotts has a number of half-price offers in its Christmas shop, including 50pc off Adler ornaments.
The National Standards Authority of Ireland has warned parents to buy toys with the CE safety mark, which is required under Irish and European law. It shows that a toy complies with EU safety rules.
They also urged people to buy safety gear such as helmets and knee and elbow pads to go with presents such as scooters, bikes and skateboards which should also carry the CE mark.
Meanwhile, the Mandate trade union has urged shoppers to give their custom to stores that respect workers' rights. It launched a Fair Shop campaign yesterday to highlight retailers that allow their employees to join a union and give them collective bargaining rights on pay and conditions. Shoppers can check its list of retailers at www.fairshop.ie.