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Last updated 05:00 03/12/2013

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Christmas shopping is expected to accelerate from next week with only 22 days to go.

Decorations are up and with reports of spending increasing shop owners hope for a bumper season.

Many Rodney and Hibiscus Coast retailers says sales are stepping up already but a lot expect a last minute rush once people get their holiday pay.

Destination Orewa Beach operations manager Hellen Hyndman says Christmas shopping is confident business will boom soon.

"It has been very slow in early November, but seems to have picked up a little bit. We will get slam-dunked just before Christmas as usual."

The Orewa Business Improvement District helped inject a bit of activity into the township with its $1000 shopping spree promotion.

"There were just over 400 txt entries and we are still counting the manual entries," Mrs Hyndman says. Every purchase made in Orewa between December 23 to 30 qualifies shoppers to enter.

Some have already entered nine or 10 times.

"We will draw the name at the end of this week and the winner gets a two minute grocery grab at Orewa New World and $500 worth of vouchers," Mrs Hyndman says.

Destination Orewa Beach is also running a promotion called 12 days of Christmas-ness from December 9. It will randomly surprise people at cafes and pay for their bill for the 12 working days leading up to Christmas.

A number of shoppers are taking advantage of pre-Christmas sales, particularly where discounts of around 30 per cent or more are offered. Body boards discounted by 40 per cent at one sports outlet were flying out the door.

If you haven't put Christmas dinner food orders in yet then you'd better be quick.

Butchers like Anders Jansson of The Farm Butchery in Warkworth say there is increased demand for Christmas meats people should order in advance, with sales already heating up. Barbecue packs are also expected to be popular.

Orders are being taken for other popular food items like strawberries, usually collected just before Christmas Day.

Sweets retailers such as Chocolate Brown in Warkworth say sales are getting busy with Christmas stock in big demand.

Boxes of truffles and pralines, love caramels and mixes of favourite sweets are hugely popular for gift baskets, Jess McClean says.

Christmas trees are selling for $30 at St John Ambulance stations in Silverdale and Warkworth. Coast Youth Community Trust will also be selling trees for $30 outside Whangaparaoa Baptist Church at 733 Whangaparaoa Rd.

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- Rodney Times

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