When we were pitching this project to our sponsors – the AHRC – there was at that time something of a furore caused by another public body, the BBC.

Their advertising campaign for DAB radio ‘confused‘ poor viewers who couldn’t understand the simple message behind it that Christmas gifts tend to be forgotten in our everyday lives. Complaints from viewers and especially retailers made the story bigger news, involving tacit allegations of hypocrisy, as the BBC isn’t meant to advertise (and product sabotage is, after all, a method of advertisement).

One of the themes of NJfC in July was the useless Christmas present – the sort of thing that can only be worn/used/enjoyed at Christmas, yet has no chance of staying fashionable/clean/useful from year to year or even day to day. At least radio, whether new DAB sets or old transistor affairs which your dad used to use in the garden, has a chance of being useful year on year and day to day because content is replenished. Perhaps what retailers are really concerned about is that a DAB set, like your dad’s transistor set, is unlikely to be upgraded next year.

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Oxfam Unwrapped

11 December, 2008

An excellent entry in the NJfC Advent Calendar for today, 11th December, reminds us of one of the most common – and yet still often neglectedrecycling initiatives, and how it is a legacy of material optimism of Modernity.

Hannover Bridge at Felixstowe

Hannover Bridge at Felixstowe

Ken Neil, one of the participants at Not Just for Christmas, sent us this news story, which reminds me of the legacy of Christmas spending as sacred as opposed to the profane spending of the everyday. This is a story of three Maersk ships which are totally laden with goods for Christmas, disembarking this week at Felixstowe. Allusions to the three wise men should be set aside for a moment, since after all this kind of traffic is nothing really special – container ships laden with consumer goods criss-cross the world throughout the year. It seems that this is the one time of the year, however, when we are allowed to stand in awe at it.

Richard Holloway on NJfC

9 December, 2008

On Monday the Not Just for Christmas Advent Calendar had a terrific contribution from Richard Holloway. Tell us what you think of it, and who you’d like to see on the NJfC site!

Two-parter on NJfC

9 December, 2008

This weekend saw a two-parter on the ‘Not Just for Christmas‘ Advent Calendar, with a donation idea and news about a Fair Trade shop near the project’s home in Glasgow.

A message from Japan.