he news that Christmas will be cheaper for consumers this year means only one thing to retailers fierce competition. A survey for VoucherCodes.co.uk, done by YouGov, found that average household spending on food, presents and decorations would be £796.05 this year. It sounds a lot but it’s actually 3% down on last year’s spend of £820.60, and the lowest spend since 2012.

Gifts represent the biggest spend with the average household expected to fork out £595.60 on presents down from £603.60 last year. And the survey found that shoppers expected to make their biggest savings on cards and decorations perhaps sending e-cards and using last year’s decs?

But it’s the food and drink arena where the really fierce competition will be. VoucherCodes’ survey revealed that spend on food and drink is expected to be £159.34 this year down 8.2%. And it seems the discounters have already started their campaigns to capture some of that cash. Lidl has reduced the price of its lobster to £4.99 and, in a nod to the environment, it is sustainably sourced. I know not many of you will be stocking lobster but it shows just how far the discounters will go to entice middle class shoppers in.

On these pages you won’t find details of lobsters for sale, but you will find lots of special Christmas editions of consumer favourites. It’s oft reported at this time of year that consumers trade up at Christmas as they want to treat themselves, their family and their friends. So during the rest of the year they might make do with own-brand choccy biccies, but at Christmas only Cadbury biscuits will do. Likewise fizzy drinks, cakes etc.

The festive editions that tickle me are the Comfort and Surf lines, both of which contain a mistletoe fragrance. You’d expect most people to get their Christmassy smell from their real Christmas tree or a scented candle but no, some like to infuse their home with a yuletide scent via their laundry.

Finally, if you have the space then build an off-shelf Christmas display. You’ll be amazed at how many people will shop it for stocking fillers, for treats and ’just in case’ they run out. Despite that survey’s lower spending figure, people always end up spending more than they intend at Christmas, so make sure it’s with you!