Eager shoppers are setting up camp outside greengrocers along the length and breadth of the country today in order to be first in the queue for the release of this year’s must-have Christmas gift: a squashed satsuma and some walnuts.
‘2013 is the year of nostalgia,’ believes Julia Franklin of Frankiln’s Festive Supplies. ‘Nothing beats the magic, after tossing aside the rest of your presents, of reaching down to the bottom of your stocking, pillow case or, increasingly these days, bin liner, to find the remnants of a small citrus fruit smeared over a walnut. It knocks your Playstation 4 into a cocked hat – cocked paper hats being another top seller this year.’
For consumer expert Professor Marcus Peertrie, the shift from the obsession of expensive, mass-produced electronics to cheap grocery items, the economic downturn can only be partially explained by the economic downturn. ‘The British public is simply fed up to the back teeth with flashy gadgets; which half the time will be forgotten about by January, when a more up to date model comes up in the sales.’
‘What people increasingly want is to recapture the simple golden magic of Christmas – that rush of bygone ages when what you were hoping was an Action Man Green Beret kit turns out to be a badly bruised orange punctured by the shell of a Brazil nut – not that they come in shells nowadays, what’s all that about anyway?’
However many parents have already voiced their disapproval, worried that their children are being somehow harmed by this seasonal trend. ‘We bought our kids a satsuma and walnut set each for their birthdays and now it’s pandemonium,’ warned one mother. ‘Where they used to sit quietly on their Nindendos, now they’re noisy, full of vitamins and clattering away with the nutcracker - I didn't even know we had a nutcracker!’
‘The last time I had a minute’s peace was when they were working out how to peel those bloody oranges. Now I hear that their headmaster is thinking of doling fruit out on a daily basis! Well if that happens I’m transferring them to the primary school down the road where they’re giving ‘em all an iPad.’