As the nights draw in and the last of the pre-winter rituals of ‘Children Demanding Sweets by Menaces’ night, ‘Throwing Fireworks at Cats’ night and ‘Outing Traitors Not Wearing a Red Flower’ day are nearly upon us, web based purveyors of other people’s landfill such as Ebay, Pre-Loved and Gumtree are filling up with offers of sale with the enticing call to buy ‘Would make a great Christmas Present’.

Online shopper, Kingsley Ryan, was one desperate shopper happy to have now found a suitable gift. “I was so anxious to find the right gift, I wasn’t able to sleep at night. It was important to me to find the best gift I could for my sweetheart. It’s been a mixed year as she was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year but finally got the ‘all clear’ last month after a long, hard battle. I really wanted to make sure that this Christmas was really special but time was running out, judging by the all the advertising and in-shop displays. Luckily, I found a listing for a rare, original vintage ironing board with a broken leg and worn-out cover. I wasn’t too sure at first, and to be honest I thought it was a bit crap, but the seller made the assurance that it would make a great Christmas present and my hunt was over. It was such a relief”.

The University of Nothing Better to Do has estimated that around 200 million items that fall under the category of ‘would make a make a great Christmas present’ will change hands this year, up from 196 million last year. It is also estimated that around 98% of this year’s total will be made up of the very same items that changed hands via the very same trading platforms on the very same premise as last year.