We’ve had Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So the next festive landmark is Christmas Dust Day on Thursday, December 19 – the penultimate day in the office when workers start to panic about preparing their homes for the arrival of friends and family.
Christmas Dust Day marks the day when workers across Britain realise ‘crikey, it’s Christmas’ and start to panic about ensuring their homes are looking their best.
For the past three years, Fantastic Cleaners has seen requests for pre-Christmas cleaning peak on the Thursday before Christmas. In each of the last three years, general cleaning enquiries on this particular day increase by more than three times the month’s average.
With the impending threat of mum – or worse, mum-in-law – peeking at the turkey and commenting on baked-on oven grime, there is most notably a surge in demand for last minute oven cleaning. In 2012, December saw overall requests for oven cleans increase by 120 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Rune Sovndahl, managing director of Fantastic Cleaners, said: “We have noticed that the more people panic about cleaning their homes in time for Christmas, the more they resort to some interesting last minute cheats.
“These range from literally ‘sweeping dirt under the rug’, to closing shower curtains to hide grimy baths, and even dimming the lights to hide dust. This doesn’t always fool their friends and family, however, and many people will get caught out.”
Beautifully presented properties for sale on Zoopla:
While Britons may say they like the idea of seeing lots of brightly lit Santas, snowmen and reindeers outside of houses at this time of year, the harsh reality is far more ‘bah! Humbug!’.
Almost half of those surveyed said they like festive lights outside of houses at this time – but almost a third adopt a more Ebenezer Scrooge approach.
The findings by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks showed 14 per cent thought Christmas lights are a waste of money, while a further 11 per cent wish their neighbours would not decorate the outside of their homes.
Nearly one in 10 said they simply don’t like Christmas decorations while a sixth said they would like to put lights outside their home but the cost of powering them puts them off.
Andrew Pearce, a director at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: “Our research has shown that people either love or loathe outdoor Christmas lights. Some view them as extravagant and an unnecessary waste of money and electricity while others enjoy the Christmas atmosphere they bring to the community.
“Whatever decorations you opt for this year, it’s still possible to have fun this festive season without blowing the budget.”
Tips to save money this Christmas:
1. Set a budget – and stick to it. Work out how much you can afford to spend and don’t exceed this amount.
2. Remember the most expensive present is not necessarily the best. Sometimes a more thoughtful, personal gift can be more appreciated. For example, new parents may prefer the offer of babysitting rather than more perfume or aftershave.
3. Shop about – when you have decided what you want to buy, look for the best bargain. Many shops have sales in the run-up to Christmas, so pick your purchasing timing wisely.
4. Group together – rather than buying gifts for every one of your friends individually, why not hold a secret Santa where each person buys for just one friend?
5. Have a family feast – ask your guests to bring a course or some goodies with them so you don’t have sole responsibility for Christmas dinner. It could simply be bringing the wine or the Christmas crackers but will help you share the expense.
Properties for sale during the festive season:
A selection of the top 10 circular homes for sale in the UK.
1. The ultimate circular home complete with WOW factor!
5 bed in Hampshire, POA – Knight Frank
2. Oast houses – a circular home oozing with character.
6 bed in Kent, £2,250,000 – Savills
3. Not all circular homes have to cost millions, we love this Welsh converted windmill.
3 bed in North Wales, £348,950 – Dafydd Hardy
4. Once a lighthouse this home now offers stunning coastal views over the islands of Skomer and Skokholm.
6 bed in Haverfordwest, £975,000 – Fine and Country.
5. This new build has Grand Designs written all over it, we love this unique look.
3 bed in Bristol, £550,000 – Bonds of Thornbury
6. The Round House was designed and constructed by award winning architect Glen Beard for his own occupation.
4 bed in Reading, £799,950 – Davis Tate
7. A striking home that can’t be missed.
4 bed in Portmahomack, £335,000 – Strutt and Parker
8. A unique and picturesque home full of character.
4 bed in Loughborough, £795,000 – Fine and Country
9. Less common are new build circular homes – we love the views from this one.
6 bed in Dorset, £850,000 – Direct Moves
10. A windmill in the Yorkshire Dales with an adorable circular kitchen.
3 bed in Brompton, £350,000 – James Winn