As the world prepares to deck the malls with loads of money, it’s worth reflecting that Santa’s real workshop is not in the North Pole - it’s in Yiwu, China.

Yiwu is home to China Commodity City, the world’s largest small commodity wholesale market, which produces more than 60% of the world’s Christmas trinkets. Baubles, tinsels, glowing trees, flashing lights, snowflakes, stockings, Santa hats, you name it - chances are, it’s made in the sprawling festival of mass production that is China Commodity City.

As it turns out, the rosy-cheeked elves in Santa’s workshop are mainly migrant labourers who work 12-hour shifts and get paid less than £1 an hour. And the only cause of the rose hues on their cheeks is the red powder paint that chokes the air in the sprawling factories.

Yes, life seems a bit grim for the elves that work at China Commodity City - the nature and very existence of which seems a pretty dismal reflection of the world’s rampant consumerism, and appetite for useless, gaudy, tat.

Merry Christmas!