Shopping in Dunnes Stores recently, I was very impressed by the gorgeous range of items they have in stock for the season; cuddly snowmen, oversized stockings, golden wreaths, and, of course, let’s not forget that old festive favourite: voodoo dolls.
Yes, there on the shelf, as part of the novelty gift range for men were voodoo dolls of three varieties; 'nagging girlfriend', 'nagging mother-in-law' and 'nagging boss'.
Is it just me, or is this the most heinous Christmas gift idea ever?
Already I hear people moaning that I'm overreacting, and that these dolls are just for 'a laugh'. But how funny would it be if somebody with an axe to grind was sticking pins in a doll that represented you? Or even worse, someone you dearly loved?
My English partner, a rugby fanatic, often wonders if Jonny Wilkinson's recurrent injury troubles stem back to the 2003 World Cup, when Sydney's Daily Telegraph printed a cut-out voodoo doll of the English fly-half. Readers were advised to stick pins in the doll whenever Jonny looked like scoring. Although England were victorious, he has barely played since.
Cynics may dismiss Wilkinson's woes as mere coincidence, and maybe they're right, maybe these things have no power whatsoever. But my point is, at a time of love and goodwill to all, why would you even try to find out?
If, however, you still feel the urge to teach someone a lesson through the use of a voodoo doll, perhaps it would be prudent to make sure you know exactly what you're dealing with. In all forms of witchcraft (even the cutesy consumer-friendly kind), it is widely accepted that what one sends out into the ether will eventually find its way back to its source threefold.
Focusing negative energy around a specific person, even if you feel it is deserved or just for 'fun', has no apparent benefits as far as I can see. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that it's toxic for all involved.
So for those who are considering sticking pins into a doll representing a 'nagging' girlfriend, boss, or mother-in-law this Christmas, for your own sake as well as theirs, I implore you; DON'T do that voodoo.