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​Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you know that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of-throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself!

George MacDonald in C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Walker and Co., 1987), 205.

It is simplistic, then, to view consumer culture as passive and de-skilling. A good deal of the rise in consumption involved buying for the sake of making and personalizing the home. DIY, handicrafts and gardening attracted a sizable chunk of consumer spending, with their own magazines, stores and fairs. Consumerism encouraged new skills as often as it killed old ones.

Frank Trent many,  Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First