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Where did the commercial Christmas zombie frenzy start?

December 21, 2016

Matthew Wright

One of my pet irritations about Christmas is the zombie mall frenzy, when shoppers go into a kind of trance amidst the glitz and glitter of the mall and start shelling out cash for chintzy consumer items made of cheap plastic. Most of these gee-gaws break 28 seconds after being unwrapped, and by 29 December they’ve been packed off to the landfill.

Following these shoppers around muttering “braaaaains….” has become a kind of sport, though for me it won’t be happening this year because the largest mall in the district has been hit by an earthquake and is being partially demolished.

wright_queensgatemalldemolition ‘Craaaanes….’ Cinema complex at the north end of the Queensgate mall being demolished after earthquake damage. So much for Xmas zombie shopping…

So I thought this year I’d explain where this Christmas shopping frenzy actually came from. It’s less than two centuries old, a product of the industrial age…

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