Blankets are so much a part of the roughly one-third of our lives most of us spend in bed that it's almost impossible for many of us to imagine sleeping without them. Available at all price levels ? from cheap close-outs to absurdly expensive textile extravaganzas -- and made from all kinds of natural and synthetic materials, retail and wholesale blankets are as ubiquitous as air and water when sleepy time comes.
Indeed, blankets are such an ancient and unquestioned part of daily life for people of all economic levels all over the world, that trying to find out how the practice of using them began would probably take at least enough research to get started on a PhD in Anthropology. It's just a fact that, unlike our furrier friends in the animal kingdom, most of us in most climates need some kind of warm covering to deal with cool evenings and the normal lowering of body temperature that goes along with rest.
Of course, as all parents and children know, blankets provide more than physical warmth. A toddler's favorite "blankie" is a definite must-have for pleasant trips. A child may have the most loving parents in the world, but they cannot be there all the time. As she grows older, she'll learn she doesn't want them there all the time, but she still wants that feeling of emotional warmth.
Moreover, the phenomenon of the "security blanket" being carried into later childhood is far from limited to Linus of "Peanuts" fame. Though we may not openly obsess over blankets as we grow older, the emotional qualities of these coverings for older children, teens, and grown-ups are plain to see. For one thing, regardless of the actual textiles, most of us favor soft, "cushy" blankets that warmly embrace us.
The appeal of blankets is not only tactile, however. Children and younger teens are fond of bedding that celebrates favorite cartoon characters, sports figures and teams, movies and TV shows, musicians, and so on. As far as we know, on the other hand, we have yet to see historic or political figures of any political stripe celebrated on blankets ? which makes sense because, unless perhaps your side just won in an election, thinking about politics is rarely conducive to a good night's sleep.
On the other hand, what's more restful than puppies or kittens or other adorable young animals? So, naturally, our favorite furry friends show up regularly on blankets and other bedding material. The irony there being that, while critters may not require blankets, they obviously love them at least as much as humans; hence their compulsion to jump on them, loll about with us if we're indulgent pet-parents, and occasionally partially devour them.
Considering how much we love blankets and considering that uncertain times breeds a certain feeling of insecurity, it is entirely logical that right now we are seeing the burgeoning of new kinds of blanket/clothing hybrids, allowing us to pleasurably loll about in blanketed warmth wherever we are in the house. It's true these may not be the height of fashion for a night on the town, and they are a favorite target of at least one late-night comedian, but let him joke. Especially as many of us lower the thermostat for both environmental and ecological reasons during the cooler months, having a portable way to keep extra warm makes perfect sense. If it provides some sense of security to us even in adulthood, what's wrong with that?
Of course, in a tight economy, purchasing inexpensive wholesale blankets of any kind may make us feel even more secure ? and saving a little money is never a bad thing. Cheap or expensive, close-out deals or brand new out of the factory, other than clothes, no category of product is as intimate in terms of covering our bodies and providing physical and emotional comfort as blankets. We all need a little warmth.
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