According to a spokesman for the association, late shopping can mean that people spend more than they plan to, fuelling debt problems.
Brian Capon said: “You tend to find that men, in particular, tend to go out last-minute to do Christmas shopping for, presumably, their other halves. Because they leave it till last minute they tend to go out and get something that’s more expensive and less suitable for the person they are buying for.
“The message there is that perhaps people would spend less money if they shopped sooner rather than later, on Christmas Eve.”
His comments come in response to findings that many people are turning towards high-interest loans at this time of year to fund their Christmas.
With firms such as Provident Financial charging up to 300 per cent APR on its loans, early shopping and good debt management can mean that people can enjoy Christmas without a new year of repayments.