Used and refused
Well-organised op shops may have tables of Christmas ephemera for sale about now. You might find:
- boxes of tatty decorations (possibly deceased estate) – don’t bother unless you have plenty of time to comb through them on the off-chance that there’s something good in there.
- cheap Christmas crockery and plastickery – people ditch this because it clogs up their cupboards and is not worth keeping for another season. You may get lucky if you want pretty, festive dishes to put edible Small Presents on but, if not, give this whole category a miss and keep your own cupboards clear.
- strange Christmas trinkets like reindeer hobby horses, teddy bears in Yuletide jumpers and Santa-shaped anythings. The original owner didn’t need these and neither do you.
Christmas Day 1970: The television stayed on when the Queen had finished talking to us and we worked our way through all the Christmas specials of British sitcoms the ABC chose to broadcast. (I would like to say that we were outside in the sunshine, playing cricket and climbing trees but it just wasn’t so: the kids were tired and the adults were comatose from too much food and no-one had the strength to leave the dining table.)
 Or hoarder’s estate: my friend Carol took four kilograms of liqueur glasses to her local op shop in spring. “I don’t think she’ll notice,” she said to me. “The only person Mum ever offered sherry to was the vicar, and the current incumbent prefers beer.”