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It’s been a month of cutesy, catchily-named dates – a sub-editor’s dream! – as British shoppers apparently spent every spare moment dashing to the shops or hastily purchasing gifts online on Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Panic Saturday.

As the last Monday before Christmas, today is no exception. Apparently, it’s Manic Monday – the last refuge for those who still have gifts to buy before Thursday. So, today’s papers are once again full of stories about anticipated amounts spent per minute (£2 million) and the number of people expected to indulge in a spot of last-minute panic buying (13 million).

You’d be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu; it’s been the same story every few days since Black Friday – the day following the American festival of Thanksgiving, which usually sees prices slashed on the other side of the Atlantic.  Over the past few years, however, British stores have started to follow suit, resulting in scenes of shoppers falling over each other to get their hands on cut-price electricals being broadcast on TV.

Now we’re told that Christmas Day itself is set to be the next major shopping event in our calendar – albeit online only – with Amazon predicting a sales rush from midday.

I can’t help but think about the PR teams who come up with these catchy monikers, who must surely be sat rubbing their hands with glee, not only for the column inches they’ve generated, but the obvious ROI for their clients. It’s quite clear that their story placements are helping to provide a steady stream of shoppers headed to the tills – a clear demonstration of the financial value of PR if ever there was one.

Perhaps, however, it’s all been too much for some. Thomas Cook’s predicting a Christmas rush as people start booking their next sunshine break – maybe we’ll all be sipping cocktails on a beach somewhere during next year’s festive period, instead of running around the shops in search of last minute presents.

Well, a girl can dream! Merry Christmas.

Joanna Drake