Leeds mum has already spent £2,500 on over 300 Christmas presents for her children

By Levi Winchester & Jasmine Norden

A Leeds Mum has confessed to already spending £2,500 on Christmas presents.

Appearing on ITV's This Morning, 43-year-old Rachel Marsden explained why she felt the need to really spoil her children.

She told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield she had started spending so early after concerns about presents not arriving in time.

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Rachel said: "After last year with Covid and everything that was going on the deliveries were taking absolutely ages to get here if they even got here at all.

"Some things only arrived last month that I ordered for last Christmas.

"So I thought, especially with the shortages of lorry drivers, I did start to panic and think: I need to get out there or we might have a horrible Christmas."

Her fears had led her to first start shopping for gifts in July of this year.

Rachel has three children aged 24, 19 and 3 to buy for.

Rachel, 43, is worried about gifts arriving late (ITV)

She went on to explain why she wanted to spend so much on Christmas, saying: "It's one day at least when all my children get together because I've got older teens.

"Growing up my Mum and Dad always made Christmas so special for us with their traditions and they did spoil us a little bit too much. I think I've just carried on their tradition with my children."

As reported by the Mirror, when asked by Philip if it was "all about the presents", Rachel replied: "No. I am aware it shouldn't be all about the gifts as not all people can buy a large amount of gifts for their children.

"I’ve booked a lot of things for the run-up to Christmas - Santa, days out and we all go for afternoon tea with family."

In a separate interview with The Sun, Rachel, a former teaching assistant who is divorced, said she has “gone without” in order to spend £2,500 on presents for her kids.

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Rachel says it isn't all about the presents and is aware other families may not be able to afford gifts

As well as buying all her presents, Rachel also has all the decorations and wrapping paper she needs for the festive season.

She says her advice to parents is to "buy now or miss out".

She said: “I have stockpiled 100 gifts for Sienna so far, including Barbies and the Sylvanian Families Amusement Park which has now sold out.

“Included for the boys is a PlayStation 5 plus games, controllers and a streaming kit.

“Jake is a Build-A-Bear collector and I managed to get the entire Pokémon collection.”

Retailers are currently struggling against a shortage of lorry drivers, with supermarket shelves being stripped empty of some goods.

Toy chains have also urged parents to start shopping early to avoid disappointment come December.

Geoff Sheffield, chief commercial officer of The Entertainer explained how a lack of shipping containers from Asia - a knock-on effect from demand being high for PPE at the start of the Covid pandemic - is also contributing to supply chain issues.

As well as toys, families have been warned there could be shortages of turkey, Christmas trees and even Quality Street this year.

Shops have already started selling Christmas stock over warnings the UK faces months of shortages.

It comes after the boss of Iceland warned ongoing delivery issues could effectively "cancel" Christmas as supermarkets struggle to replenish shelves.

All major supermarkets - including Big Four grocers Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda - have seen shelves left empty in recent weeks.

But Tesco boss John Allan urged people not to panic-buy.

"There may be some shortages", but people should not "over-dramatise" and panic-buy, he told the BBC.

The shortage of HGV drivers is due to a combination of Covid, Brexit and other factors, including a backlog of driver tests.

The Government has introduced changes to lorry driver tests to help get more newly qualified drivers on the road - see what they are here.

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