With commercial fads like Black Friday and Cyber Monday being all the rage, some would argue that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost.
But in Corstorphine, a busy team of churchgoers has been spreading the festive spirit in a creative community event with a twist.
In a colourful play on so-called “yarn bombing”, more than 300 knitted angels were placed around the city suburb at the weekend, for people to take home and put on display over Christmas.
They were hung around the area with “positive messages of advent and hope” and notes saying “please take me” to mark the official beginning of Advent on Sunday.
To help preserve the mystery, the keen knitters – including a 91-year-old churchgoer who knitted more than 40 figurines – wanted to remain anonymous.
One of them said: “We picked up on the idea and then we found a design that we liked. It has been used by other churches elsewhere. I put some pictures up on a knitting group on Facebook and the Australian Women’s Institute have asked for details of the design.
“It’s been really impressive – lots of people have been getting involved.”
Members of the congregation gathered at St Thomas’ Church on Saturday evening before heading out into the night to place the cute angels around the area, in locations such as St Margaret’s Park, the children’s play area at the Gyle and Drumbrae.
The gesture, which is believed to be the first of its kind in Edinburgh, has brought people of all ages together to help spread Christmas joy, according to the knitters.
“We’ve got a 91-year-old right down to teenagers,” she said.
“I was making [the angels] on the bus, and I ended up giving a couple of them out. I think it will be a new tradition for us. It takes around an hour to make each one.”
The group hopes that the angels will give the lucky recipients a positive start to the festive season.
Yarn bombing, otherwise known as guerrilla knitting, is a relatively new phenomenon which involves colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn used as street art rather than paint or chalk.
In a less peaceful example of the craze, one tram ticketing machine was entirely covered with brightly-coloured knitted and crochet squares emblazoned with protest slogans last year.
Other protest works have included a Second World War tank in Denmark which was covered in pink knitted squares in protest at the country’s involvement in the war in Iraq.