All I want for Xmas is…….

Well, I’ve written before about the mass of junkmail we receive each morning with several top up deliveries intermittently during the day. In fact it was on 8 December 2009 when I wrote about it last (see posting Location, location, location), and if I’d kept all the direct mail crap that had been posted through our letter box since then I could have opened my own paper mill. But this morning something plopped through the letter box so awful it could become a classic of the junk genre. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Xmas gift catalogue from some mob called Oh what a claim. Now ordinarily I’d chuck this out without a glance but something made me have a sneek and what joys are contained therein. It’s not that the gifts are of stunning quality; there are literally thousands of them and they are almost all utterly crap. I’ve seen carney fairground stall holders that would baulk at having to use some of this tat as prizes for punters scooping up a plastic duck with a hook on a stick or for scoring over 21 by hitting 3 different playing cards with some crappy arrows. 

No the pleasure comes from uncovering the crown jewels of crap within the tat mountain. Have a look at this classic; a decanter with 22 carat gold (decorated) glass galleon within a bowl etched with the world map….

I can’t see it troubling the guys on the Antiques Roadshow anytime soon, can you? Too classy? Well how about a gift for the man who has everything and who perhaps prefers a pint to a cheeky claret. I think I’ve found the very thing; an armchair dog organiser to hold his drink (albeit precarioulsy) and his collection of zappers….

A snip at £12 surely. What’s particularly interesting is the positioning of this piece of crud alongside some other classic items for the Ralph Lauren generation such as  Jim’ll Fix It and Homer Simpson mugs.  Ah iconic tableware. But then the publishers juxtapose something I wouldn’t expect to appeal to the ‘Shameless’ man, the new English dictionary . Now I suppose the thinking is that he can consult that whilst having a pint of Boddies watching his favourite tv show – Call My Bluff.

And what about the ladeez, well the brochure doesn’t fail to surprise. There’s a lot of Ratnersesque jewellery  of course but my fashion eye was taken with this rather fetching piece of headgear from master milliner Phillip Treacy I’m guessing…..

Yes an angora mix trilby for £14. Princess Beatrice would snap this up. And as with the men’s section there’s a seemingly haphazard collection of gifts for the modern gal on this single page ranging from cake stands, a clock photo-frame, a selection of Mrs Beeton cook books, some luggage, wraps and hood/scarves. Don’t believe me? Well have a look…

It’s entertainingly curated like this throughout the catalogue. The kids’ section is almost the most engaging. The page I couldn’t quite believe was this one….

Yes this is the page offering not just a luridly-painted resin figurine of the Last Supper for just £65 (surely on every kids’ Xmas wish list) but also a collection of those rather charming reminders of our less senstive past, some Gollywogs, here somewhat coyly described as ‘nostalgic fellows’ Ah of course, because today’s 4 year olds will be looking back fondly on those far-off days of Golden Shred and the Black & White Minstrel show no doubt.

If there were prizes for junk mail literature this catalogue would have already garnered a Pullitzer and the Booker and without any dissention in this case. But I musn’t get all superior about this; I’ve actually found a present that I’m thinking of treating C and I to this Xmas. I think every home should have this stylish two-some for when the odd guests come round who like the occasional smoke. Be impressed…

Xmas gifts….sorted!



2 thoughts on “All I want for Xmas is…….

  1. Makes you glad to be in the marketing business doesn’t it?

    I love this time of year, when clients ask you to recommend some promotional material that they can brand up and send to their prospective or existing clientele. I’ve had some belters in my time, but my favourite has to be (and I kid you not):

    – Bottles of Metaxa (awful Greek/Turkish or similar liquor) in a red and green, festive velvet box that was sent to a mainly Muslim (non alcoholic drinking) client base, with a Merry Christmas message.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up….

  2. Ha! hi russter,

    I can believe it just as I can imagine John Terry innocently sending Anton and Rio Ferdinand’s kids the gollies for Xmas. No bad feelings eh fellahs! As you say you couldn’t make it up R. I wonder what happened to all those bottles of metaxa? Celebrating the end of Gaddafi?


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