There is no doubting the fact that Christmas is a magical time of year that, deep down, even the most hardened hearts eventually warm towards. Yet there is no denying that preparations for the big day can very often fill us with an overwhelming sense of dread and, in some cases, sheer outright terror.
Yet there really is no need to despair, as thankfully the days of rushing around the high street or shopping centre could soon be numbered, as the rising use of easy and accessible technology has offered a much-welcomed helping hand, with many of us already taking advantage.
Yes, shopping online has really taken off in recent years, especially around the festive season; the biggest and most important period in the retail sector.
The rise of internet shopping means that many analysts are now expecting a total of £7 billion to be spent online this Christmas.
According to IMRG, which gathered the figures, one of the main drivers behind the rising adoption is shopping on newer platforms such as smartphones and tablet devices, something that was just not possible before, but with increasingly faster connections, is now commonplace. And because of this increasing use of mobile devices, it is now possible to shop at any time and anywhere.
This added air of convenience makes shopping online a much less stressful experience than the traditional method of rushing round the stores themselves.
Yet it is not just the gathering of presents that often stresses out consumers, but also the obsession with getting the cheapest deal possible, something which has become all the more important as budgets become increasingly stretched.
But by going online, it is easy to find what you are looking for at the cheapest possible price. Many retailers have already taken notice of this, and have adjusted their online prices accordingly, so when you log on to a specialist online retailer, the chances are you will be getting a better deal than you would on the high street.
Business stresses out too
But it is not only shoppers that greet the pre-Christmas rush with a sense of dread, as many enterprises up and down the country take a sharp intake of breath at the prospect of a depleted and unmotivated workforce.
This can have a huge effect on the productivity of a firm, but worries can be kept to a minimum by taking a few simple measures.
One way is to allow for flexible working, as this enables employees to work from the comfort of their own home; a prospect that is sure to hold a great deal more appeal.
While the rise of mobile devices has helped shoppers to enjoy a much more pleasant and stress-free experience, it has also led to a rising use of flexible and remote working practices across the country, as employees can now take the office with them wherever they go, whether it be through their laptop, mobile device or tablet.
There has already been a noticeable rise in the productivity of businesses that implement such practices, and this approach could be the way forward for companies trying to maintain a foothold in the their respective markets, at a time when the working climate has never been tougher.