Presents: au Contraire?

This year, we must eye over the numerous paradoxical presents we will receive. Gifts with a second meaning which contrast the merry making of bestowing or artlessly juxtapose through their very existence.

The acrylic ‘Wool substitute’ Christmas jumper which looks great on but will inevitably release micro-fibres after journeying through the washing machine. The water course, the food chain will become affected, the outcome: cancer causing molecules present in the oceans fish. The gift of a ‘Feminist’ little white T, produced by women on low wages working in cramped conditions. Soft sound recordings, Liam Gallagher the champion. Produced on equipment from the sixties and seventies to imitate the acoustics of records, then delivered on mass using the latest digital tech. The cringe worthy thought of receiving ‘The Holiday’ on DVD with its never ending schedule of repeats over the festive season. Goods embellished with ‘Fuck the Tories’, political opposition or sex with Sunak?

The latest collection of crochet hooks which ultimately light up, modern tech meeting the ancient craft of crocheting. Coming with a USB charger, a high tech culture being brought to fibre arts. Ultimately making the chain-hook process easier to see and master. However, crochet is fast becoming a trend taken on by the young as opposed to art for the elderly. The 2008 economic downturn led many the knit and natter groups and the meetings for ‘Happy Hookers’ became popular with all that crocheted. These hobbies have come to the forefront again after the pandemic led to the almost-collapse of the economy. Although the cost of yarn greatly exceeds the average costs of goods produced, staying in became the new going out. As the night economy suffers many are simply getting out their hooks and spending many an evening delightfully double-trebelling.

The Lidl bear has hit the budget food retailer and fully embracing our TV screens. Cute, adorable and what every child must-want? Several years ago this would have seemed like a no-go? Playground banter, bullying about brands stocked by LIdl commonplace. A kin to receiving an old chopper bike, brought second hand from the local dump all wrapped up for Christmas. After the harsh fall in disposable income led by the global recession a Lidl Bear now appears on trend, a must-have gift. In the same way as undergrads create a thrift culture of wearing ripped clothes, the Lidl Bear has become on trend? A fitting gift for under the tree which would have been received in a derogatory manner several years ago. 

The chargeable, electric blanket style lounge wear tops which are flying out of retailers like Dunelm. A great gift to keep you warm, the paradox being because you won’t be able to afford to put on the central heating. Apparently, not as stifling as when electric blankets were first introduced in the 1980’s and cheap electrics entered UK markets from Taiwan and other Asian mass-manufacturing super powers. Raising fuel prices, escalating household energy bills at the front of all our minds. Electric, lounge sweaters will keep you warm when you can’t afford to heat the room above 18 degrees. 

To the wondering beauty of every contradiction we have an avenue of insight. Crochet hooks which function more effectively, Lidl bears which bring charm to childhood and the ultra warm appeal for sofa surfing. Lets enjoy these mixed purpose presents and all except that however anyone wants to ‘Fuck the Tories’ is absolutely fine and of their choosing!


One response to “Presents: au Contraire?”

  1. 18 Degrees? Good heavens. What do you have to do to achieve that?


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