I went to Debenhams earlier.
No wonder why retailers are in such trouble.
All I could find was rehashed and rebranded items, amazing to find an entire section Donated to Stranger Things!
And while yes, Stranger Things is pretty awesome and cool, I had to un-dupe myself and question what is this item in my hand? Is it a merely a mug? Or is it a £16 porcelain hot water vessel featuring the branding of an 80’s style Netflix show?
Looking deeper, the whole store was filled with more and more items that preyed upon people who have more money than sense.
A larger container of flying saucers, a classic pick and mix sweet containing sherbet powder, my dad’s favourite. The container emulated a glass sweet jar, reminiscent of extinct British corner shops, Open All Hours for example. £12, yes £12! for what is arguably a £1 worth of sweets and a mock jar that I know my old man would say “oh these used to be made of glass”.
I’m not against buying items, I’m not against retailers designing items for consumers to buy. I am for intentional gift giving, I want my family and friends to smile when they open the gift I have curated for them.
The secret? Just buy them the gift they want? Why should you let the high street “inspire you”, to know your family and friends better than you do!
Next year I’m proposing a new and radical idea.
My family, friends and I, all buy their own gifts… that’s right, they buy exactly what they want, define their own budget and most importantly buy it only for themselves.
You wrap it for yourself, and don’t tell anyone about said gift.
Then on Christmas day, in front of your closest family, you have to open your own gift. You get to share exactly why you bought it, your rationale, and what this particular item means to you. Not only do you not have to bear the pain of watching a loved one pretending to look satisfied with their item, but you gain a more valuable insight into the people you love.
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?