Because what says Christmas more than a 'worry skull'?
“Oh, it’s another pair of socks!”
Cue a perfected false smile.
You’ve always wanted socks with your face on them. You’ve been wanting to buy a new pair of socks all year… yada yada yada.
When did Christmas get so rehearsed? What happened to the genuine buzz of getting a totally unexpected, surprising gift?
Fortunately, Manchester's long-standing vintage emporium, Afflecks Palace, is on hand this Christmas to banish the boring from your festivities. For more than two decades, it has been a shining beacon for the bizarre on Church Street, with close to 70 traders selling everything from beak-faced gimp masks to crystal balls.
We’ve scoured all floors of Afflecks Palace to find the unusual gifts that will get a genuine reaction this year. Enjoy.
1. A boob bong. Because why have a bong that looks like anything else?
2. For the parent who is trying to scare some sense into their child: a poster of Courtney Love in her ‘glory days’.
3. For the resourceful hipster: massive flesh plugs that double up as coasters.
4. For the spouse who is spending their first ever Christmas with the in-laws: a bullet belt.
A handy accessory if things get out of hand at the annual Monopoly game.
5. A spiky bracelet that will fend off physical contact - perfect for your new Tinder match.
You’ve spent too long swiping and schmoozing to lose your new match to cuffing season.
6. Wolf goblets. A regal upgrade to last year's novelty mug.
7. For the anxious friend: 'worry skulls'. Because nothing melts away concerns like a small skull in your pocket.
8. A casual outfit to impress the in-laws.
9. Pendants that double up as throwing stars.
10. For the friend that always says 'I told you so' - a crystal ball.
Bet you didn't see this one coming, Karen.
11. Ancient relics that offer the gift of travel, minus the cost of a plane ticket and the authentic experience.
12. A Christmas party essential: psychedelic goggles
The perfect excuse for noshing off with Lesley in IT.
13. For the big kid: gold-coated playing cards.
14. A state of the art alarm clock for the technophobe in your life.
15. For the hipster that already has everything: a replica bitcoin.
You can’t spend it, but uhh it looks cool.
16. We all have a crazy cat friend that would appreciate these
17. A visual reminder of the panic you felt trying to leave Afflecks Palace
18. For the 90s kids who curse the day they binned their Pokemon cards - a host of Pokemon memorabilia.
It'll cost you triple what you paid for it as a child, but it's still worth it.
19. A stylish headpiece for the mother-in-law
"I thought it would bring out your eyes, Helen."
20. Every flavour of Fanta under the sun
"All I want for Christmas is a cavity, a cavity, a cavity..."
21. An army of superheroes
The ultimate back-up for anyone that questions the coolness of comics
22. For the eternal pessimist: a coffin backpack
A fashionable reminder of what's to come.
23. A lace bralet.
Because who needs breast support at Christmas.
24. For the millennial plant-lover that can't keep anything alive: fake vegetables with eyes.
Try accidentally killing one of these.
25. For your favourite friend: personalised trainers
A unique gift that's guaranteed to genuinely please.
26. For your least favourite friend - strangely suggestive anime
Innocent cartoon or a suggestive pin-up? Let them decide.
27. For your work colleagues: a selection of 'festive' cards
Nothing says Christmas like a cannabis plant