Christmas “Fruitcake” Threatens Thrift Shops

August 28, 2009 at 10:34 am | Posted in News | 4 Comments

Ho Ho Ho Christmas CardCharity shops (aka thrift shops) in the British city of Leeds are being victimized as part of a strange sinister rampage.

According to the Daily Mail, a vigilante group has been “threatening attacks on shops for selling Christmas cards too early. Four businesses have received letters warning them not to sell festive cards before November and one charity shop had its locks glued.”

The shadowy figure behind the campaign “phoned the Mind shop in Headingley, Leeds, claiming to represent the ‘Movement for the Containment of Christmas’ and a hooded figure was caught on CCTV posting one of the letters to a nearby Oxfam store.”

Mind is a charity-shop chain operated by a mental-health nonprofit and Oxfam is the UK’s biggest charity-shop chain.

“West Yorkshire Police have been called in and Mind has stopped selling the cards for the time being for fear of further expensive acts of criminal damage. The shop manageress, who does not want to be named, said: ‘A man phoned and said our lock had been glued because we were selling Christmas cards far too early. He said if we pass the shop and we see you are still selling Christmas cards we will glue the lock up until the cards are removed. When I asked him what the problem was with us selling cards, he said that he was from a team against charity shops selling Christmas cards so early. This has made the staff, who are mainly volunteers, feel very uneasy and we have alerted the police. We have removed our current Christmas cards sales display for the moment. This is a great pity as we have been selling off last year’s stock and making £70 a week for charity.’

“The handwritten letter was headed ‘Movement for the Containment of Xmas.’ It said: ‘This is a very polite but very serious reminder not to display Xmas cards until 1st November. We will put superglue into your locks if you do. Peace and goodwill (the Mind shop got done on Sunday).’

“The letters were delivered 48 hours after the locks were glued last week. Clive Barker, 38, manager of Oxfam said: ‘We don’t have a clue who is involved in this terror campaign. It is a bizarre way of getting things done, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but this is the wrong way of doing it. As a charity shop we need to get donations any way we can and selling the cards brings in valuable money so any disruption is bad. The fact that Mind had to pay out money to fix their locks is ridiculous.'”

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