Where presents come from: Santa knows!

Dear followthethings.com shopper

We have been doing some Christmas ‘shopping’ (see definitions 11 and 12 of this glorious verb here) and have some recommendations for you: 3 unmissable Christmas movies and a Christmas list.

If you have one of our shopocalypse bags, please take it to town with you this month, and send us photos of its contents. Its ladybirds are Santa’s little helpers. They know everything about world trade.

Festive feelings

Ian et al.

Our Christmas movies

a) Xmas unwrapped (2014)

Where’s this from? See here.

b) What would Jesus buy (2007)

c) Santa’s workshop: inside China’s slave labour toy factories (2004)

Our Christmas list

Anon (2007) A Wal-Mart Christmas: Brought to you from a Sweatshop in China. Pittsburgh, PA: National Labour Committee in Support of Human and Worker Rights

Anon (2016) How to have an ethical ChristmasEthical Consumer 1 December

Anon (2016) Why billions of dollars of goods are stuck at seaThe Economist 21 September

Anon (2016) An Investigation into Four Toy Sweatshops. New York: China Labor Watch

Anon (2016) No Wonderland for workers: labour conditions at Disney’s supplier factories in China. Hong Kong: Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour

Bozkurt, O. (2015) The punctuation of mundane jobs with extreme work: Christmas at the supermarket deli counterOrganization 22(4), 476-492

Chamberlain, G. (2016) The grim truth of Chinese factories producing the west’s Christmas toysThe Guardian 4 December

Chambers, M., Daglish, M., Rendell, S., Stapleton, G., Thompson, G. & Nuss, F. (2012) Santa’s workshop: inside China’s slave labour factoriesfollowthethings.com

Cook et al, I. (2017) What to do if you find a cry for help in your Christmas presents this year. The Conversation 22 December

Farbotko, C. & Head, L. (2013) Gifts, sustainable consumption and giving up green anxieties at Christmas. Geoforum 50, 88–96

Hancock, P. & Rehn, A. (2011) Organizing Christmas. Organization studies 18(6) 737–745

Howells, R. (2016) Lost at Sea – Will I Get Christmas Presents This Year? Huffington Post 22 September

Hsu, T. & Kisby, R. (2017) 1,000 Miles, Four Families, One Christmas Tree. New York Times 15 December

Kasser, T. & Sheldon, K. (2002) What makes for a merry Christmas? Journal of happiness studies 3, 313-329

Maughan, T. (2014) Your Christmas stuff is likely from Yiwu, a small town in China. BBC Future, 18 December

Miller, D. (2017) Christmas An anthropological lens. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7(3), 409–442

Park, J. & Baker, J. (2007) What would Jesus Buy: American Consumption of Religious and Spiritual Material Goods. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion46(4), 501-517

Pinar (2013) Chinese Factory Workers Reveal the REAL Toy Story. mymodernmet.com 17 January

Robson, S. & Ward, A. (2012) The REAL Toy Story: Chinese factory workers forced to sleep among piles of doll parts as they churn out Christmas presentsDaily Mail 8 December

Sherman, J. (2018) The Christmas Snow Globe. followtheblog.org 12 December

Sherwood, D. (2010) How your Christmas dinner has travelled 260,000 milesDaily Mail 15 December

Urbina, I. (2007) Anarchists in the aisles? Stores provide a stage. New York Times 24 December

Wainright, O. (2014) Santa’s real workshop: the town in China that makes the world’s Christmas decorationsThe Guardian 19 December 


Creative commons images used during the Christmas season on followthethings.com and followtheblog.org are attributed to the following sources:

Holly leaf: http://cliparts.co/clipart/2307570

Santa face: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=62071&picture=santa-claus-christmas-face

Santa hat: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Santa_hat.svg

Last updated 30 November 2020



  1. Pingback: Week 12. End credits + Coursework 2 Q&A. – Geographies of Material Culture
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