The tinsel is out, the office parties have begun and the presents are already starting to pile up under the tree.
Anyone trying to guess what is in those carefully wrapped parcels may find clues in Amazon’s Top 10 list of most wished for gifts this Yuletide.
The DVD of Jurassic World is the most wanted Christmas present, according to the online shopping giant. In second spot, ahead of the new film release, is Star Wars: Battlefront videogame.
Also lined up to fill this year’s festive stockings is the Harry Potter Colouring Book as well as the LEGO Disney Princess Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle. Tech lovers are dreaming of finding the Hamilton Beach Electric Breakfast Sandwich Maker, Amazon Fire TV stick and Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Tracker and Sleep Wristband. “Wish Lists offer a real-time insight into what people up and down the country would like to receive on Christmas morning,” said Amazon.co.uk media director Alison Forrestal.
The Top 10:
The company’s huge Rugeley base is working flat out after taking on more than 2,500 extra staff, to cope with the millions of seasonal orders.
At any one time several lorries are being unloaded at dozens of large gaping doors, numbered like airport gates.
When the computer picks the items out for packing, they embark on a journey through the warehouse on a network of conveyor belts, stopping off along the way to be covered in bubblewrap, boxed and labelled.
A machine called The Slam – standing for Systematic Label And Manifestation – attaches the addresses after detecting the weight and size of each parcel so it can apply just the right amount of pressure when applying the label.
Cheerfully at odds with this picture of a 21st century production line is an old-school section where staff in Santa hats are gift-wrapping by hand.
The parcels are despatched for pick-up to a whole assortment of locations.
The scale of the process is enormous. On Black Friday alone, 64 orders per second – or 5.5 million over the day – were processed across the UK.
And Christmas 2015 is on target to break all current records.