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It’s nearly time to put the Christmas decorations up.

The supermarket shelves are already stocked with Christmas chocolates and festive-themed gifts, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” fills the air in every shop. It won’t be long before the wife is telling me to get the tree out of the loft and help her decorate the lounge ready for Christmas. 

But as you hang your baubles and shake your tinsel out, have you ever given any thought to where it all comes from? It’ll be no surprise to hear that most of the world’s Christmas decorations are manufactured in China, but did you know that 90% of them come from just one place? A place called Yiwu – also known as “Christmas Town”. I know right? You thought Christmas came from Santa and his elves in Lapland! Me too! 

On my last trip over to China, one I of my freight partners took us to see this manufacturing marvel. And it was incredible. From beach balls to baubles, tinsel to toys, this is the place where Christmas is made. 

Now, with over 35 years in freight, I’ve been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things. I’ve visited manufacturing hubs in China and in India too. But this was something else. Never before have I truly witnessed the scale of China’s manufacturing power with my own eyes. Rather than a run of factories, it was like a whole city the size of Birmingham, dedicated to manufacturing. 

In the next few weeks, when my Christmas tree goes up and we start our slow descent, I mean preparation, into Christmas, I don’t think I’ll be able to look at things in the same way. Every bauble, glittering ribbon and smiling snowman ornament, likely started its life in Christmas Town, before getting packaged up and shipped across the oceans in a container. t’s a crazy thought. Perhaps freight forwarders are the real Santa Clause after all!

How about you?

Have you ever been to Christmas Town? Or have you seen any crazy mind-blowing things on your travels? I’d love to hear your stories…