Predictions 2016.

That Day We reach the time when I assess how well I predicted the ups and downs of the year and look forward to the next. Here we go again:

The Mutya Keisha Siobhan album is finally released.

No. The All Saints managed to get their act together instead. New project in 2017 apparently. Ok. No marks.

Arden Shakespeare announces Arden of Faversham.

No. But the Oxford Shakespeare has so maybe in the next couple of years? No marks.

Moffat and Capaldi leaving Doctor Who at the end of series ten.

Ish. I supposed I meant an announcement of such. Well, Moffat's going with some suspicion of Capaldi too without anything concrete. 1/2 mark.

Film streaming services announce deals which allow for studio back catalogues to be available in greater depth and for longer ala music.

No. Not at all. No marks.

Major scandal leads to early UK general election.

No, ho, ho, ho, ho. Bless the naive version of me which wrote this twelve months ago. So innocent. No marks.

1/2 mark all together, which I think is the lowest score I've ever managed, which is to be expected given that it is 2016. Anyway, to 2017 and ...

The Mutya Keisha Siobhan album is finally released.

Tim Supple announced as new creative director of Shakespeare's Globe.

New female Doctor emerges at the end of the 2017 Who Christmas special.

Trump doesn't complete the year as President.

Brexit cancelled.

Some hopes and a logical assumption. I'm essentially trying to game fate and the system here.

216 Good Things Which Happened in 2016.

About By any measure, for most of us, this segment of time has been utterly rubbish, either because of world events and our reaction to them or something horrible which has happened closer to home. Now that we know for sure that the world is a divided, broken place, I decided that that this year's blog review should be a list of good things which happened in 2016. 216 of them. So people tweeted, Facebooked and emailed sentences. Something which has happened to them or something they've enjoyed. Something about a song, a film, a book, a meal, a friend. Or just something which they found positive about this unusually horrendous year. Dozens of people contributed and they're credited below. Everything else was chosen by me. Let's take the zero out of 2016 and find out what's left.

1.  Liverpool schoolchildren donated warm scarves to rough sleepers to mark Valentine's Day. - @jadewright

2.  The vote for the HMS Boaty McBoatface which then never was. I loved it. It captured for me the true spirit of asking the public and getting ridiculous answers. - @siobhanfarmer

3.  Government launches consultation that paves the way for the GCSE-only rule to be dropped, and for Functional Skills to be reinstated as an equivalent qualification for Level 3 Early Years Practitioners. - @WastedElegance

4.  Gary Lineker emerged as an unlikely champion in the fight against hate reporting.- @vauxhallwoman

5.  President Obama awarding Ellen her Medal of Freedom was such a beautiful, feelgood moment that got me blubbing. - @shauna

6.  The positive upswing in sales of 'Nasty Woman' t-shirts. Reclaiming the high ground one shoulder wiggle at a time. - @Rullsenberg

7.  The US decided to put a woman (Harriet Tubman) on the $20 bill. - @katieUM

8.  I got to vote for a woman for President of the United States for the first time in history. - @giagia

9.  The Ice Bucket challenge, which had been dismissed by so many, actually made a real difference showing that good things happen and people can make them happen. - @joelidster

10.  The pope visited the Mexican border near my hometown, bringing worldwide attention to the plight of immigrants. - @elpasoanne

11.  London electing a Muslim mayor against the backdrop of a very islamaphobic campaign from his rival - @hannahkirkman

12.  The Hillsborough Enquiry published and finally confirms the truth.

13.  Night Service on the London Underground.

14.  Perennials.

15.  Colombia's government and Farc rebels agree new peace deal.

16.  This comic strip.

17.  Misogyny is bad for men's mental health.

18.  The Guyliner's reviews of The Guardian's Blind Date columns.

19. Washington Post to add 60 newsroom jobs.

20.  Norway man rescued after climbing into public toilet to retrieve his friend's phone.

21.  Myanmar swore in its first elected civilian president in 50 years.

22.  Lara Favaretto's Momentary Monument - The Stone at the Liverpool Biennial (which also raised money for charity).

23.  The Superlambanana was repainted.

24.  John Minton painting resurfaces after years spent in owner's shed.

25.  National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in the US.

26.  The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square gave us a thumbs up.

27.  The botched fresco restoration saved the town's economy.

28.  PsychoBarn.

29.  The interactive Google Doodle celebrating Clara Rockmore's Thermin.

30.  A computer painted a Rembrandt.

31.  Stolen Picasso rescued.

32.  The Women's Art Twitter Feed.

33.  DC Comic's Rebirth. It's been like coming home.

34.  The ferris wheel scene in Superman #7.

35.  The issue of Doctor Who Magazine which was essentially just one giant, glorious Tom Baker interview. - @The_Arn

36.  The Power of the Daleks. - @RobinBrown78

37.  Lucie Miller is back.

38.  Gareth and John visited Ianto's Shrine.

39.  The Doctor Donna returned.

40.  The Danny Dyer episode of Who Do You Think You Are was magical from start to finish. That man is a treasure, and his face should be on money.
- @stuheritage

41.  Sir David in Planet Earth: seeing so many joyous tweets about faceplanting snow leopards and dancing bears. - @siobhanfarmer

42.  Ed Balls on Strictly! - @wifeinspace

43.  Ore and Joanne winning Strictly: He's a sports presenter. He didn't go to stage school. He cried almost every week. And it was pure joy. - @keris

44.  Mel and Sue's tweet about not taking the dough. - @janinegibson

45.  Top Gear being terrible (in a perverse way that's good for original TV). - @janinegibson

46.  Fleabag.

47.  Box of Broadcasts. Still.

48.  Stranger Things on Netflix. Seriously awesome. - @Rullsenberg

49.  Netflix's The Crown, especially the final scene of the series where SPOILER SPOILER as SPOILER SPOILER. - @neilperryman

50.  Season two of Making a Murderer was announced. - @froggielevog

51.  Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is always insightful, moving, feminist and funny, but in season two it kicked things up a notch. Episode four brought us not only one of the most realistic, no-nonsense abortions on TV, but also this cheeky little number from the depths of Rebecca’s subconscious. Naturally, it both reflects her insecurities about sex and references an iconic routine from Singin' In the Rain… - @dianeshipley

52.  Tatiana Maslany finally won an Emmy for Orphan Black.

53.  Gilmore Girls returns.

54.  Will & Grace reunion.

55.  Star Trek's 50th Anniversary.

56.  Cold Feet returned.

57.  Maisie Williams Pranked Game of Thrones Fans.

58.  The Magicians is a TV adaptation of Lev Grossman's 'Harry Potter meets The Secret History' novel and a fine example of clever adaptation between media. The TV show preserves the spirit and tone of the original while changing loads of details in smart and practical ways, and through the first season has evolved a waspish pragmatic style of humour all of its own. - @markclapham

59.  Deal or no Deal UK ends on a winner.

60.  Leonardo Dicaprio won an Oscar. - @WastedElegance

61.  The reconstructed majesty of Abel Gantz's Napoleon on the big screen - the grandest of grand follies. - @The_Arn

62.  "I saw four professional women doing their thing with no "but you need a man" subplots: busting makes me feel good." - @magslhalliday

63.  Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters.

64.  Carrie Fisher FINALLY confirmed she and Harrison Ford had an affair while making Star Wars. #HanleiaForever - @giagia

65.  Bridget Jones had a baby. And it was hilarious. - @ClodaghMMurphy

66.  Hello to Jason Isaacs.

67.  Spider-Man’s cameo in Captain America: Civil War.

68.  Deadpool's sex montage

69.  Rogue One indicates Star Wars now owns Christmas film releases for years to come.

70.  This documentary about a video shop closing.

71.  The message of the film Arrival.

72.  Kirk Douglas is a hundred.

73.  And so is Olivia de Haviland.

74.  Dublin's doughnut rising. Revolution Bakery, Aungier Danger, Rollin Donut, Off Beat Donut Co. The best imo is Dublin Doughnut Co but please do ALL your own field research. - @GreenClouds4

75.  The humus salad I ate at the Humpit in the Corn Exchange in Leeds.

76.  Gary.

77.  Fifteen new bowls of soup.

78.  This photograph of the Bake Off's Ruby Tandoh worshipping a mince pie.

79.  Marina O'Loughlin's review of Tasty.

80.  The rise of political opprobrium and action (to follow) against terrible working conditons proving journalism still has a role. - @janinegibson

81.  Teen Vogue.

82.  Saw David Tennant performing as Richard II at the Barbican in London: complete with a hilarious accidental destruction of the stage by Jasper Britton when he stamped his foot a little too hard. - @Rullsenberg

83.  Godspeed, anarchist librarian kid. - @lauraewaddell

84.  Shakespeare First Folio discovered on Scottish island.

85.  Russell T Davies's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

86.  The To Be Or Not To Be Sketch at Shakespeare Live.

87.  Theatre where Hamlet first performed given listed status.

88.  Arden of Faversham added to Oxford's Complete Works of Shakespeare.

89.  Jobama. - @keris

90.  Guy dresses up as dog's favorite toy.

91.  Paperholm.

92.  Fuck 2016.

93.  Man stuck in compost bin!

94.  The family who lives with a bear.

95.  Frozen Pants.

96.  How Many Girls Are in This Photo?

97.  Subway post-it notes.

98.  This crowd's reaction to a dude flipping a water bottle.

99.  Well Dylan won the Nobel. - @LizzieWurtzel

100.  David Bowie's Dark Star. It turned what could have been the utterly demoralising tragedy of a premature death into an incredible artistic supernova. - @TheDaiLlew

101.  David Bowie's musical Lazarus played in New York then came to London, a cast recording album was issued - complete with three more Bowie recordings. - @brendanconnelly

102.  The ongoing programme of Bowie reissues finally gave us all a copy of The Gouster. - @brendanconnelly

103.  The video for Genghis Khan by Miike Snow. Kitschy delight in danceable form. - @redfacts

104.  Brian Wilson toured endlessly with Pet Sounds. - @lucyswebdesigns

105.  I was so lucky to see/hear both Stevie Wonder and Brian Wilson live in 2016, and both occasions were as amazing as I'd hoped. It's a truism, but music really does make things better. - @notesuponnotes

106.  The Peaches gig courtesy of REVo who has been working up to this gig for years. - @nicolawass1

107.  Suede touring their new album with accompanying film and a glorious greatest hits set. Euphorically nostalgic. - @discodave75

108.  My favorite band, Wolf Parade, got back together, and I spent a week in New York City seeing them live, five nights in a row. - @tempestuous

109.  Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks opening The Country Music Awards.

110.  Kate McKinnon's Hallelujah.

111.  The All Saints reformed and released a pretty good album.

112.  This Sugababes track leaked.

113.  OK Go's Upside Down and Inside Out video.

114.  The occasional public humiliation of the self-important and talentless attention seeker Zac Goldsmith turns out to be 2016's silver lining. - @thejimsmith

115.  The Obama administration in 2016 designated seven new national monuments and expanded an existing one; total land acreage protected in the US: 1.85 million acres and total square miles protected, if you include new ocean preserves, is 447,694. - @flowill

116.  The cheery way Clare Malone says “Hey Jody” on the FiveThirtyEight podcast.

117.  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

118.  Samantha Bee meets Glen Beck.

119.  The Obamas reading "Where The Wild Things Are" at Easter.

120.  Mayor Bill De Blasio's promise to all New Yorkers (even though no one should have to make this speech).

121.  Lindsay Lohan live tweeting during the Brexit coverage.

122.  The Green Party's New Year Message: "Let's be honest, 2016 has been sh*t."

123.  "Guys. It’s time for some game theory."

124.  Chilcot finally published so that people can stop asking when Chilcot is going to be published.

125.  The Rob & Helen storyline in The Archers had us gripped. The programme is an escape into a world that each listener has their own version of in their head, their own personal Ambridge. - @JonPeake

126.  Radio Garden.

127.  Steve Hewlitt's interviews on PM about his cancer treatment. Eddie Mair's sensitive and intelligent interviewing style.

128.  Ross Sea became a marine reserve. - @RobinBrown78

129.  Scientists are confident that the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica is healing - it's now millions of sq km smaller than at the beginning of the 21st century. - @LizLockhart1985

130.  Deep Learning made a computer beat the best human at Go. - @frabcus

131.  SpaceX landed rockets which had put objects in orbit, paving the way to 10x cheaper space travel. - @frabcus

132.  India's energy minister said new solar power is now cheaper to build than new coal power. - @frabcus

133.  Europe's ExoMars enters Mars orbit.

134.  Scientists improve photosynthesis.

135.  Evidence suggests huge ninth planet exists past Pluto at solar system's edge.

136.  The West Indian manatee is no longer endangered.

137.  Eternal 5D data storage could record the history of humankind.

138.  Second moon discovered around Earth. Ish.

139.  Chernobyl exclusion zone to be turned into world's largest wind farm.

140.  Iguana vs Snakes.

141.  Tim Peake and every other astronaut has returned safely to Earth.

142.  Giant pandas are no longer endangered.

143.  Scientists have used groundbreaking technology to figure out how the Earth looked a billion years ago.

144.  The success of the British team at the Rio Olympic games. - @matthewjrudd

145.  The Paralympics. - @hannahkirkman

146.  Andy Murray. - @davegorman

147.  Nick Skelton Individual Team Gold in Show Jumping at the Rio Olympics. - @AlexiaPage

148.  Mr Tonga in the Olympis opening ceremony. - @AlexiaPage

149.  "Minority" sports appearing in prime time on BBC One during the Olympics and forcing schedule changes the likes of which we've never seen.

150.  The celebration of the British Women's Hockey Team winning the Gold medal at the Olympics.

151.  Usain Bolt's Olympic Triple Triple.

152.  Alistair Brownlee helped his brother Jonny over finish line in dramatic World Series finale.

153.  Wales reaching the semi-final of Euro 2016. It was like seeing John Sparkes appointed new Doctor Who. - @brokentv

154.  2016 is the year I discovered the amazingly talented writer, singer, actor, producer, Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame. So happy he walks upon this earth. - @KTSavage

155.  Hamilton won a ton of well deserved Tony Awards. - @katieUM

156.  I got back together with the love of my life and he took me to new York for the first time. - @WastedElegance

157.  Met Nichelle Nichols (who played Uhuru in original Star Trek) and told her she'd been an inspiration to women like me. - @vauxhallwoman

158.  I studied all year for a professional qualification, and today got the job I wanted from it. - @TrapOne_

159.  Being diagnosed with depression. Sounds like a downer, but actually, doing something about it and getting it treated after 20+ years has resulted in the last few months being the happiest I've had in a very long time. - @TheDaiLlew

160.  My best friend of 27 years getting married. In a castle. - @TheDaiLlew

161.  Cross legged by the side of my wife we sat on the sitting room floor of a friend’s home in front of the flames of a real fire. I gazed at her, and we looked round the room at a group of people who, in the space of what seems only a few months, have become close friends. And in the midst of all the unsettling moments of 2016 at that moment, during that weekend, I knew that I was blessed to have a circle of people whose company I enjoy, and with whom I felt secure. - @GeoffShadbold

162.  I learned early this year that a series of satirical novels from the 1950s to early 1980s had been reprinted by the author’s family. And so I spent Christmas night chuckling while reading of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick declaring war on the United States as Leonard Wibberley’s mouse roared once again. - @GeoffShadbold

163.  Saw one of Shakespeare's First Folios while it visited Duluth, Minnesota in October. - @tempestuous

164.  Spent a week at the world's best summer camp, teaching songs I know by heart to one of my favorite kids. - @tempestuous

165.  Black Walnut Creme in my coffee during a weekend with friends in a picture-perfect lakeside cabin. - @tempestuous

166.  Introduced my nephew to the magic of Pee-wee Herman, by way of Pee-wee's Big Holiday. - @tempestuous

167.  Skipped annual viewing of Love, Actually thanks to Stuart's timely reminders about its rubbishness. (Just kidding) (Not kidding about appreciating the reminder about the rubbishness!) - @tempestuous

168.  I've acted in three different stage productions in London. - @suzynorman

169.  I've had two poems accepted for publication. - @suzynorman

170.  This year, Kevin and I conquered the foxtrot, at least to the point of being able to move around the dance floor without colliding with other dancers! We can also now do a passable tango and cha-cha, and are looking forward to adding more dances to our repertoire in 2017. - @suw

171.  My tiny baby! - @speedina

172.  Over the last 15 years my dad collected 1785 bowling balls and built this Pyramid with them. - @saywhatagain

173.  I'm in Ohio and finally got to climb dad's bowling ball pyramid. - @saywhatagain

174.  I've raised nearly £1800 for Cancer Research UK this year so far. - @Rullsenberg

175.  My son turned 18 this year. For a trans* young person that's actually a big deal (suicide rates in trans* teens are horrifying). - @RosieBrent

176.  My fan art for the Scandi detective show Trapped went viral in Iceland, which delighted me no end. - @redfacts

177.  Creating 'Baker's End' with Simon Barnard and our fabulous cast and crew. We came up with it because we were a bit fed up at the end of last year, and we made something that we hoped would cheer up ourselves and everyone else. And we had bloody good fun making it. - @paulmagrs

178.  The thinking digital conference - via Herb Kim who is always v generous re sharing tickets within the digital & creative sectors. - @nicolawass1

179.  I found a pound in the washing machine. - @NevFountain

180.  As property developers circle Crusader Mill, it’s been great to see the artists at Rogue Studios respond critically and creatively and forge overdue collaborations with neighbouring textile producers. - @Natalieviolet

181.  I managed to successfully grow green beans from a seed this year. Only one plant survived the snails in my garden, but I got enough beans for a couple of meals. My grandparents grew all their own veg for many years, and that side of the family were market gardeners going back generations, but I’d never managed to grow anything before. - @lydiajo

182.  Having self-published a children's book with one of my best friends, I'm delighted that the story has found a small but appreciative audience. - @LizLockhart1985

183.  Discovering the NUS Extra card for alumni with all of its amazing discounts.

184.  I got a book deal for a book with an autistic girl as the main character (to counterbalance the never ending number there are about boys). - @karamina

185.  My baby niece Gracie beat a cancerous Wilms tumour and had one of her kidneys removed by the wonderful surgeons and Drs at Great Ormand St Hospital. She's just been given a full bill of health. Worth all of 2016 just for that. - @JoCoumbe

187.  The lump is non-cancerous! - @firda

188.  Did my dream road trip around the north coast of Scotland. - @firda

189.  Got to revisit Reykjavik, Iceland, my happy place. - @firda

190.  I bought a brand new car for the first time in my life. - @elpasoanne

191.  feeling listless turned 15! - @elpasoanne

192.  I grew tomatoes in my garden for the first time. - @elpasoanne

193.  I went to code camp, and it was awesome. - @elpasoanne

194.  This year's bright spots mostly private: Kid got engaged, family member 4 years cancer-free. - @brooligan

195.  Having my first solo book published and my second commissioned. - @The_Arn

196.  The wedding of two autistic friends; a joyful day of musical theatre and geeking out with friends old and new. - @the_arn

197.  My small gesture of hope this year has been to give up smoking, in the face of so many reasons, both personal and global, to carry on. - Anon

198.  My Mum's friend June phoned her. They haven't spoken in years.

199.  I stopped biting my finger nails.

200.  Accidentally stumbling upon New Broadcasting House during a Christmas shopping trip to London and being able to lean against the TARDIS whilst coincidentally wearing an Eighth Doctor t-shirt.

201.  Being able to laugh as loudly as I did on Christmas Day with a large mystery present turned out to be a hat stand.

202.  I created a TV show, Sonnigsburg, that finally premiered this week in Australia. And it's also on YouTube weekly. - @keithgow

203.  My son called me 'Mummy' for the first time. That was nice. - @hayjane

204.  I got a new job, lovely friends got married in November. - @AnneMarieT123

205.  The Orbiting Human Circus Of The Air is a podcast that feels like Wes Anderson directing a loose remake of David Lynch's very odd sitcom On The Air, a super whimsical, melancholy series about a radio show broadcast from the Eiffel Tower that defies reason and geography. More compelling and less annoying than it has any right to be, and beautifully produced. - @markclapham

206.  The long term plan that my husband and I made when we started dating came to fruition in 2016, and we get to move back to our favourite place in the world.  - @eurovisellie

207.  I found my happy place - on the dance floor in the Euroclub at the Eurovision Song Contest.  - @eurovisellie

208.  A stranger asked for suggestions about good things that happened in 2016. Spent a memorable day at work with colleagues shouting out random positives ('Golden Eagle numbers are rising!', 'Nimrud not totally destroyed by ISIS!') - @vauxhallwoman

209.  Golden Eagle numbers are rising! - @vauxhallwoman's colleagues

210.  Nimrud not totally destroyed by ISIS! - @vauxhallwoman's colleagues

211.  I discovered a week ago that Tumblr user helthehatter had a similar idea to this and also wants us to remember the good things which happened in 2016.

212.  So did Reddit.

213.  I gave birth to our baby daughter the day that Trump got in. What felt like the darkest day politically was illuminated by an overwhelming joy and hope. As my husband relayed the news to me in the delivery room, I didn't despair at the world I had brought her into, rather I felt that her purity and goodness could chase away the bad. - @toomanydresses

214.  All those small reminders that the loudest voices don’t represent who we are and there’s still a lot of decency in the world. Like this one. - @hannahkirkman

215.  Discovering that my friends are my family and the energy to fight for a better world because things have been so bad. - @Danoosha

216.  I'm still alive and relatively healthy, for which I am genuinely thankful. - @lemurpatrol

Christmas Links #25

A Thinkfluencer's Christmas Carol:
"Marley was dead: to begin with. Or his brand was, anyway. His Twitter avatar was an egg, and his only tweet read, “Hello, #world. Still figuring out this #twitter thing.” He had no LinkedIn profile. Did Scrooge know Marley’s brand was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? He had forced Marley out of the counting-house, citing his failure to promote the business on social media as an abrogation of his duties."

How does a vegetarian do Christmas?
"I love the few days before Christmas. In fact, I think prefer them to the day itself. I thrive on the frantic last-minute shopping, the armfuls of bags, the evenings wrapping and tying presents. Queuing out the door of the greengrocer’s to overfill my basket with every possible thing I might need (and then the same on top again)."

Why Mariah Carey’s Christmas hit will be around forever:
"Mariah Carey had a banner year in 1994. Her third studio album, 1993’s Music Box, had grown into a blockbuster hit, thanks to the chart success of songs such as the Harry Nilsson cover “Without You” and the inspirational “Hero.” Billboard named Carey the top female pop singles artist of 1994—she had five singles chart in the Hot 100—and the top female pop artist overall, as measured by combined albums and singles activity. Still, even being on a commercial hot streak didn’t guarantee that her 1994 Christmas album, Merry Christmas, which spawned “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” was going to find an audience."

Pregnant waitress gets $900 tip just days before Christmas:
"Everyone knows that waiters and waitresses in the US get lousy wages. It’s one of the reasons people usually try and remember to give them a tip. One couple in Arizona certainly bore that in mind when they gave a heavily pregnant waitress a Christmas gift of $900."

I interviewed Peter Capaldi for the Guardian and here’s the rest of the transcript…
"Regular readers may know that I am slightly a fan of Doctor Who, so it has been a great pleasure over the last few weeks to have had the chance to both interview and meet Peter Capaldi as part of my job."

Crowding Around the Nativity:
"The Gospel of Luke says that the pregnant mother of Jesus could not find shelter in an inn, so she had no place to put down her newborn but in an animals’ food trough—phatne in Luke’s Greek, the word rightly translated as praesepium (Latin), krippe (German), crèche (French), presepe (Italian), manger or crib (English)."

A Blood Curdling Collection Of Scary Snowmen:
"The typical soft and smiley snowmen just don't seem appropriate for a year as messed up as 2016, so it's no surprise there have been way more horror snowmen going around the net this year than ever before."

Ryan Reynolds explains why he looks so sad in *that* photo from Taylor Swift’s party:
"There are a lot of things we love about Ryan Reynolds, but we had all the sads for him when a photo popped up on social media of he and his wife, the lovely Blake Lively, celebrating July 4th at Taylor Swift’s house."

Eva Wiseman: The Christmas journey:
"You're reading this (indulge me) in hour three of a five-hour train ride. Spread out on the table in front of you are an unread novel with an illustration of a teacup on the front (teacup book covers are the new pink stiletto, keep up loves) and a greasy Marks & Spencer salad box containing a single flaccid bean."

Why "I’m The Bishop Of Southwark" Is The Christmas Slogan We Need:
"Ten years ago a senior bishop in the Church of England went out for a Christmas drinks party. He came back with a sore head, accusations he’d broken into the back of a Mercedes, and an increasingly legendary story that would give birth to a proto-meme."

Christmas Links #24

Help, my turkey won’t fit! Quick fixes for Christmas dinner disasters:
"Avoid common festive disasters with our crisis management tip sheet: stock up on cream and ice, get a decent stick blender and plenty of booze."

All Dead, But Still Alive:
"We’ve no way of knowing for certain what Gordon Murray was doing on 22nd December 1965, but we can take a fairly good guess."

Diary: Alan Bennett.
"11 January. It’s not to disparage David Bowie, but if even a fraction of the tributes being paid to him and his influence were true we would never have had a Conservative government or indeed any government at all."

Your most underwhelming Christmas photos:
"From Santa in Greggs to a Croydon of Christmas past, our so-so festive pictures were even more disappointing than usual this year."

7 Wonders: Christmas (s)hits:
"When it comes to our contributors and Christmas tunes, it seems one woman’s chocolate Santa is another woman’s soggy sprouts. We all agree Susan Hanks is just plain wrong, mind."

Horribly Awesome Version of "All I Want For Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey:
""i put “All I Want for Christmas is You” through a MIDI converter, and then back through an mp3 converter. the result is this garbage"

Victorian Christmas traditions:
"From Christmas cards to decorated trees and Christmas crackers, many of our best-known Christmas traditions are products of the Victorian era."

Costume Party: Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut:
"One of the chief pleasures of the film is its enveloping look into the sumptuous lifestyles of the wealthy (lifestyles made all the more aesthetically pleasing when bedecked with twinkling Christmas lights). The very first shot shows Alice from the back as she takes off a filmy black dress."

The movie that doesn’t exist and the Redditors who think it does:
"Over the years, hundreds of people online have shared memories of a cheesy Nineties movie called “Shazaam”. There is no evidence that such a film was ever made. What does this tell us about the quirks of collective memory?" [Thanks LMG!]

Decades After Daring Rescue, 2 Tennesseans Relive Christmas Miracle:
"On Dec. 24, 1956, when Judy Charest was 3 months old, her father went to take a shower and when he came out, Judy and her mother, Marguerite Hunt, were gone."

Christmas Links #23

Coca-Cola didn’t invent Santa ... the 10 biggest Christmas myths debunked:
"Are you still boring your relatives with stories about Prince Albert’s tree and the origin of mistletoe kisses. Stop! The truth is much more interesting..."

The Worst Tweets Of 2016:
"Everyone should be ashamed of themselves."

Spain's 'El Gordo' lottery sparks celebrations across Madrid:
"Workers at a home for the elderly were among those celebrating Thursday in Madrid after all the tickets with the top prize-winning number in Spain's 2.3 billion-euro ($2.4 billion) Christmas lottery were sold in one city neighborhood."

COLUMN: December 22, 2016:
"TWAS the day before the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the house it was utter bedlam."

The Definitive Analysis Of ‘Love Actually,’ The Greatest Christmas Movie Of Our Time:
"“Love Actually,” the 2003 film that launched a generation of cinematic hot takes, is the story of nine interconnected relationships in the weeks ahead of Christmas in the United Kingdom."
[Editor's note: That title. But it's otherwise a pretty useful analysis which hits many of the same notes as my research.]

It's Christmas! The best festive songs, chosen by Slade, Neil Diamond, the Waitresses and more:
"Slade, Loretta Lynn, Run-DMC and Mike Batt have given us some all-time Christmas classics. But what’s the one Christmas song they couldn’t get through the holidays without? They – and other festive hitmakers – give us their picks ."

Jewish family flees Lancaster County after wrongly being blamed for Christmas play cancellation:
"A Jewish family has fled Lancaster County after the cancellation of a 5th grade production of "A Christmas Carol" was partially blamed on them by conservative news outlets."

"‘Tis the season and Star Wars fans have already received the best possible gift thanks to the release of Rogue One. But as the holiday and the end of the year approaches, it’s only natural to turn towards the past. I asked fans about their memories of holidays of yore that have ties to Star Wars and received answers that will make you smile from ear to ear."

The North Pole is going to be 50 degrees warmer than usual, three days before Christmas:

"For the second year in a row, temperatures in the Arctic region have spiked, startling scientists."

Racist White Lady Spreads Racist Christmas Cheer To Hispanic Ladies, Racistly:
"Yay, another white racist lady video has gone viral! Even better, this time it is Christmas-themed, because it’s Christmas! It’s a truism these days that, wherever several are gathered when a white lady (or a dumb white man trying to work out his resentment over why he didn’t do better in life) goes on a racist tirade in public, somebody will pull out their Obamaphone and film the whole thing, and they will get reaction shots from the other bystanders, who are equally as “WTF?” as everybody else about the fragile, melting white snowflake making noise in front of them."

Christmas Links #22

The Christmas my in-laws threw out my treasured books:
"My marriage was on the rocks – and then came the revelation that my life’s collection of books had been given away to a jumble sale."

What to do if you're feeling lonely this Christmas:
"Whether you're worried about a friend, or feeling unhappy yourself this Christmas, might you spare us a minute to read this? Thank you."

The Official Top 20 biggest selling Christmas hits:
"We count down Christmas Number 1s and festive smashes by Band Aid, the Beatles, Mariah and more."

How do you spot a fake?
"Graham Wetzbarger is an expert at spotting a fake. He’s Director of Authentication at Californian company The RealReal. The company, which identifies the genuine luxury items to sell them on, now operates in more than 60 countries. The UK border police seized more than a quarter of a million pounds worth of fake designer goods coming in to the UK in the last few weeks at Manchester Airport alone. Graham talks to Winifred Robinson about spotting fake luxury goods and what to watch out for."

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Xmas Files:
"Candy Jar Books have announced a new, free-to-download festive adventure in their Lethbridge-Stewart range, The Feast of Evans by Simon A Forward."

The big Christmas Day debate: dressed-up or jammies?
"Brushed cotton onesies vs velvet frocks – Frankie Graddon and Lauren Bravo discuss Christmas Day outfits."

Festive guide to Christmas shopping, parking and where there are queues on Merseyside:
"Our ECHO elves want to hear from you. Get in touch and let them solve your Christmas dilemmas."

How To Be A Ladyperson During The Holidays In 10 Easy Steps:
"Straight from the ad pages of your favorite magazines, here’s your guide to being a girl in December. Take notes."

Sue Perkins Drives You Home For Christmas:
"Sue is first UK voice of the free, real time, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app powered by drivers, following US stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Morgan Freeman."

Teenage refugee preparing for first Christmas in Hertfordshire after fleeing Eritrea:
"Ten girls from the east African country and Ethiopia arrived in the county in October after the 'Jungle' refugee camp in Calais was dismantled."

Christmas Links #21

First teaser for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ released:
[Editor's note: Breathtaking. Is Deckard a replicant? If this is a sequel to the theatrical cut then no, and so we just move on with the fact that he's simply aged here like a normal human. But if this follows the pattern of The Final Cut and what Ridley Scott's said in interviews, perhaps the secret implied in the synopsis is that some replicants did not have four year expiry dates. Or indeed none at all, with Blade Runners acting as a way of thinning the numbers. In which case there's a chance here that the notions of protagonist/antagonist of going to be very complex here.]

Which Christmas Songs You’re Most Likely To Hear On The Radio:
"The top 10 holiday tunes played on terrestrial radio account for a whopping 38 percent of all holiday tracks played during the period I pulled data for. We have different amounts of data from different stations because some flipped the switch to the holiday format before others. But when we divide the stations into their constituent Census regions, there’s some variety in how often the top 10 get played."

Reasons to put insects on the Christmas menu:
"Rearing animals for meat is bad for the planet. Insects, on the other hand, are both nutritious and environmentally friendly."

With five days to go, barely half have bought all their Christmas presents:
"YouGov’s Christmas present tracker finds that 51% of people have bought all their Christmas presents so far."

Giving at Christmas Time:
"The traditions of giving to the less fortunate is alive and well today and many of us will receive leaflets about Christmas charity campaigns through our doors this festive, and witness charity fundraising events whilst out and about. One tradition which has a long heritage is that of the gift of food. Food banks are a topic of current debate and collection baskets for ‘extra items’ you have purchased are now a regular feature in supermarkets."

He's known for fun Christmas cards. This year, it got dark.
"The photo shows Santa Claus, the undocumented foreigner who, according to legend, illegally crosses the U.S. border each year. A massive barrier rises before him. In his hand stands a shovel."

Philomena Cunk: 'No one likes Christmas pudding, but we have to respect it'
"The other star of Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe casts her eye over festive food, from sprouts to rubbish advent calendar chocolate."

BBC One & Two Christmas idents:
"When BBC Television began more than years 80 ago, the idea of a TV channel identity was essentially, an unknown concept. One channel, it was the channel, that was the identity, it existed, say no more."

The 12 Days of Doctor Who:
"12 Daleks Zapping."

Mobile official apologizes for Christmas tree at Trump rally removed from public park:
"The chief of staff to Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson issued a public apology Sunday for his responsibility in having a cedar tree cut down at Public Safety Memorial Park Friday and transported to Ladd-Peebles Stadium as a prop during President-elect Donald Trump's rally on Saturday."

Christmas Links #20

Technology destroys people and places. I’m rejecting it:
"From Wednesday, I’m going to live without my laptop, internet, phone, washing machine or television. I want my life back. I want my soul back."

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Why we're so in love with snow:
"Marcus Sedgwick's Snow doesn't just tell us the science of the white stuff – it explores its place in our culture."

From sprout strippers to smelly alarm clocks: the best kitchen gadget gifts for Christmas:
"When it comes to festive cookery presents, there’s something for everyone – even the relatives you hate."

Frankston woman gets festive shock after finding a live tiger snake in her Christmas tree:
"A VICTORIAN woman got the shock of the season after she found a live tiger snake wrapped like tinsel on top of her Christmas tree."

A Look Back at the Obama White House Christmas Cards Through the Years:
"Sasha and Malia were so adorable."

Feeling Festive:
"My final baking projects of the year are done and dusted and I’m really looking forward to Christmas now. The only bakes left to make are the ones that my family and I are going to enjoy over the next week or so. If you want to give the gingerbread house above a go, this week’s blog has everything you need to know."

Top 10 festive food traditions in Europe:
"Whether it’s cinnamon biscuits in Brussels, potato-anchovy casserole in Stockholm or Christmas pudding with a twist in Copenhagen, there’s a wealth of culinary delights on offer at yuletide."

Meetings with seven remarkable Christmas trees:
"Do you wish your Christmas tree had just a little more artistic credibility? You’re not alone. As various galleries and institutions unveil their spectacular festive firs for 2016, created by the world’s leading artists, ALASDAIR MacRAE presents seven examples of Christmas trees that went for something a little different."

Time for some 'Brexmas' Brexitwashing:
"Christmas is always a busy time for retailers and this year will be absolutely no different. As such, Brexit fanzine the Sunday Express may be over-reaching a little with its front page urging readers to consider this Christmas a triumph for Brexit."

An Experiment with Time and Christmas:
"Listeners on Christmas Day evening, 1931, were first treated to the traditional staple of a Christmas service from studio, panto and an appeal on behalf of the British Wireless for the Blind."

Christmas Links #19.

Sabrina Mahfouz on the poetic train journey out of London:
"British-Egyptian playwright, Sabrina Mahfouz observes the journey out of London in poetic verse."

Fight for your right: the "war on Christmas" films nobody needs to see:
"A dubious new genre is centred on characters “saving” the holiday and all its trimmings from scrooges – and the concept of cultural inclusivity."

End of term shows and Christmas extravaganzas:
"Jon Jacob looks back at some children's TV Christmas extravaganza's and considers how they, like the Strictly Come Dancing, are the perfect start to the festive celebrations."

A Backwards Recording Of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas":

"There are plenty of holiday songs which feature lyrics that are a bit backwards, but We Wish You A Merry Christmas isn't one of them."

Enter The Christmas Special Thunderdome:
"Christmas specials: They’ve survived unchanged for decades and still pull absolutely crazy TV viewership."

The Christmas High Street Christmas Food Taste Test:
"In recent years, the run-up to Christmas has become a race between high street supermarkets, shops, and cafes to see who can come up with the most exciting and innovative festive twists on lunchtime food. Knowing our European counterparts tend to look less than favourably upon British cuisine, we asked teams of French and German BuzzFeed employees to try a sample of British high street Christmas food, to see if our winter offerings redeem us in international eyes."

Boston U. student raises $700 for homeless man just before Christmas:
"Blake Smith, a Boston University junior, turned a class assignment into a Christmas gift. His task? “Create a video that persuades people to think about something differently” for a communications course. Smith’s immediate idea was to craft a video showcasing a man he knows as Freddy, a friendly homeless man in Boston’s Kenmore Square."

Christmas chaos in literature, from Emma to Adrian Mole:
"Forget Dickensian happy endings, the real Christmas classics tell stories of fraught family gatherings, orgies of consumption and festivities for one, writes John Mullan."

Watch Hillary Clinton Meet Love Actually in Perfect S.N.L. Christmas Sketch:
"Clinton tries to woo an elector at the last minute."

Twelve of the best Radio Times Christmas covers:
"For 93 years the Radio Times Christmas issue has been as much a part of British seasonal festivities as mince pies and tinsel. ALISTAIR McGOWN pulls out his highlighter pen to select a dozen front covers that tell its story."

Christmas Links #18

A Brief History of Christmas Songs on 6 Music:
"When mince pies appear on supermarket shelves in April, you know Christmas is just around the corner."

The Ugly Christmas Sweater: Still Ugly, but No Longer Ironic:
"Have you seen the Ugly Christmas Sweater suits? They are, literally, suits—matching ties included—that swathe their wearers in head-to-toe Christmas Sweater ugliness. They are, it should go without saying, awesome."

Military Wife Finds Creative Way to Include Deployed Husband in Family Christmas Photo:
"Brandon Sistrunk isn't set to return from his deployment until January, so his wife figured out how to include him in their family Christmas card."

Christmas in Colorado through the years:
"It's finders keepers for boys and Christmas Tree For these two boys Christmas came early and they made the most of it in 1977. Ralph Martinez, 6, left, and Manuel Montoya, 7, carry a small but bushy Christmas tree along 3000 block of Zuni Street. The two boys found the trophy in alley and immediately started the trek home with tree. Ernie Leyba, The Denver Post Library Archive."

Celebrating 65 years of Peanuts:
" This online exhibition is adapted from the full version that was on view in the Museum’s comic strip rotation gallery from August 19, 2015 to January 10, 2016."

Slow Cooker Christmas Spiced Red Cabbage:
"Ever had a cooker crisis on Christmas Day? I think we've all been there haven't we, with too many dishes and too little space. I try and make as much as I can ahead of time these day's - I cook my meat the day before (and the gravy too), pre cook my sprouts, par boil the potatoes and make and cook the stuffing in a loaf tin. It all helps come Christmas morning and this year I've called on my slow cooker for help too."

Lawyer Sues to Stop Christmas Tunes Playing 16 Hours a Day:
"NYC attorney Nick Wilder says he can't take socialite Lisa Maria Falcone's display anymore."

Why is it so hard for Christmas films to pass the Bechdel test?
"Everyone (at least secretly) loves Christmas films, but on closer inspection, it's the least woman-friendly genre there is. Caroline O’Donoghue investigates."

Cate Blanchett Narrates This Lovely Ad About the Different Ways People Celebrate Christmas:
"Everyone celebrates Christmas a little differently. Some people like to throw ugly sweater parties; others like to blow past the season without giving it a second thought. A new campaign from retailer David Jones starring actress Cate Blanchett gives viewers a glimpse into what the holiday brings for people in Australia. You might find it's not so different from your own celebrations."

30 years, 700+ pieces: Annual Christmas display brings family together:
"Most people put up lights and a tree to celebrate Christmas. One man built a miniature village in his basement. Around 1985 Jeff Ziegler got a couple Coca-Cola house figurines from his mom back. He’s not really sure when things took a turn, but two years ago he counted 550 figurine people and over 100 structures. That number has grown and he’s quite frank about not actually knowing where his collection stands today."

Christmas Links #17

Class comes to BBC One:
"The BBC has confirmed thet the Doctor Who spin-off series will be shown on BBC One this January. The first episode can be seen on Monday 9th January at 10.45pm."
[Editor's note: Which used to be about standard for the re-broadcasting of BBC Three programmes back in the analogue days when BBC Three was only on digital. But more recently shows have been in decent slots on BBC Two since (Fleabag etc) and that seemed to be Class's fate. Perhaps the iPlayer numbers haven't been as they expected so they've decided to dump it here instead. If only it had actually been any good ...]

Cinema in Flint opens its doors for first time in more than 40 years:
"The Gaumont Plaza in Flint held its first screening on Friday with a showing of Bridget Jones’ Baby, after months of hard work by its owner to get it open by Christmas time."

Trump Grill could be the worst restaurant in America:
"Halfway through a recent late lunch at the Trump Grill—the clubby steakhouse in the lobby of Trump Tower that has recently become famous through the incessant media coverage of its namesake landlord, and the many dignitaries traipsing through its marbled hall to kiss his ring—I sensed the initial symptoms of a Trump overdose. Thanks to an unprecedented influx of diners, we were sitting at a wobbly overflow table outside the restaurant, in the middle of a crush of tourists, some of whom were proposing to their partners, or waiting to buy Trump-branded merchandise, or sprinting to the bathroom."

The Worst Films of 2016:
"No room for run-of-the-mill bad movies here. To qualify for our scroll of shame, a movie had to be one of the truly godawful, the inept, the ugly, the offensive, or — no small offense — the deadly boring. Here is Owen Gleiberman and Peter Debruge’s list of the 10 Worst Films of 2016."

The patriarchy, actually. What our favourite Christmas films mean in 2016:
"From the housing crisis of It’s a Wonderful Life to the white, male hegemony of Love Actually, festive classics now seem more relevant than ever."
[Editor's note: Yes, but Love Actually presents these men, in general, as heroes. They're the protagonists. In no way is it supposed to be satire.]

Which Christmas Food Must Go?
"Do brussels sprouts deserve to stay?"

The making of The Chaos Carol:
"How I managed to compile the 100 most popular Christmas songs into a symphony of joyful chaos."

This woman's hilarious Christmas card with pizza shows the power of true love:
"While we love seeing people’s cute holiday cards of their family, if you’re single it can be a little hard looking at all the things that you don’t have. That’s why this single woman decided to create a holiday card to her one true love: pizza."

Christmas Cupcakes by Nigella:
"These beauties also make a very good alternative to mince pies. I buy the icing ready made and dyed (which is why it isn’t a very convincing colour for holly, let’s be frank) and use cranberries as the holly berries. The cake underneath is somewhere between chocolate and gingerbread. If you’re thinking of taking anything to friends’ houses, may I suggest these?"

Rolling Stones waive their royalties on Jo Cox tribute single:

"Bookmakers William Hill also pledge donate to charity all money staked on the cover of You Can’t Always Get What You Want reaching Christmas No 1."

Christmas Links #16

The Puritans Who Stole Christmas:

"On 8 June 1647 Parliament enacted a law to abolish holy days, including Christmas (although it replaced them with secular days of rest). This legislation made it a criminal offence to celebrate, in any shape or form, the feast of Christmas, and was the latest in a series of attempts by zealously devout Parliamentarians to redefine Christmas as a time for humility instead of lavish celebration."

Campaign begins to counter 'all white' Christmas:
"A new campaign that aims to counter images of an “all white” Christmas is to be launched on Thursday to increase the number of black and ethnic minority families portrayed enjoying the festive period."

Holy shit: Somebody edited 400 versions of A Christmas Carol into one coherent movie:
"YouTuber Heath Waterman has celebrated those many, many iterations of Charles Dickens’ classic by editing 400 of them together into a single, coherent narrative. Questions asked in one rendition are answered by characters in another; one actor’s portrayal of Scrooge might fall from the sky, but a different one will land. Since the beats of the story are so consistent, everything unfolds cleanly."

The Foodism guide to... Christmas feasting:
"Dig yourself out of a festive eating-and-drinking rut with tips from the best in the business. You’ll be rustling up golden quail’s eggs in no time…"

I ate every fast food Christmas lunch in the name of food criticism:
"It’s hard to say when exactly Christmas food specials became a Thing, but in this unbelievable year of 2016, they well and truly are."

The Twelve Monsters of Christmas:
"Christmas isn’t just about a coca-cola marketing gimmick, it has a long and often dark history. Even the kindly St Nick wasn’t always the genial character we think of today. As good needs its evil, here are 12 of the monsters that terrorised the Yule season."

Tragic child's touching Christmas letter found in Dunfermline field triggers community response:
"A CHILD'S Christmas letter to their dad has caused a stir on social media after it was found in a field in Dunfermline attached to a balloon yesterday (Monday)."

Build This Lego Assistant to Take Care of All Your Christmas Cards:

"From shopping, to decorating a Christmas tree, you’ve got enough to deal with this time of year without having to send friends and family a card reminding them of all their holiday responsibilities. So why not dig out your Lego bin and build this Mindstorms assistant that can churn out all your Christmas cards for you?"

Nine budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas:
"Christmas. Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also, without a doubt, the most expensive time of the year too. According to some reports, the average family spends about £800 a year on Christmas. That’s a lot of dosh, especially if you are cash strapped and watching every penny."

19 Foods You Might Find In A Christmas Dinner, Ranked From Worst To Best:
"Note: In order to prevent this list from being 50% meat, I have only included the poultry options. Sorry, ham lovers."

Christmas Links #15

Sugababes ‘Boys’ Finally Leaks, Nearly Four Years Later:
[editor's note: Sob, sob. If only they'd this out instead of Flatline or at least part of a logical release strategy rather than the funeral we otherwise attended. Of course it sounds a bit dated now. It is four years old. But it's an even better expression of how Siobhan's vocal complemented Mutya and Keisha in a way Heidi never really did.]

What We Just Watched: Christmas Special 2016:
"Two earnest men from TV Cream have come together under the flag of peace on Earth and goodwill to all other earnest men. Their purpose? To make each other watch a Christmas-related TV show, of which they’ve had no prior warning. Then they’ll chat about what they’ve seen. Yes, it’s got enough ‘format points’ to make it an actual thing."

Doctors: A Christmas Carol:
"See our cast as you've never seen them before in today's A Christmas Carol. Filmed on one of the hottest weeks in July, we hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together."

She’ll give this stranger a hard-to-get NES for Christmas. But she has to find him first.
"Cheyenna Gaughf knows little about the young man who stood in line behind her outside a Virginia Toys “R” Us on a day when the store was offering a chance to buy two of the season’s most in-demand holiday gifts: Hatchimals and Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition."

Mysteries of Father Christmas ‘solved’ by relativity theory:
"The mystery of how Father Christmas can deliver presents to 700 million children in one night, fit down the chimney and arrive without being seen or heard has been ‘solved’ by a physicist at the University of Exeter."

Why you shouldn't give a goat this Christmas:
"If you are looking for a charity gift that really makes a difference, just give cash. While it's nice to imagine tents, water tanks and food parcels being rushed to a far-flung village beset by misfortune this Christmas, it could wind up being of dubious value." [via]

Students remove Shakespeare portrait in English dept., aiming for inclusivity:
"Penn English professor and Department Chair Jed Esty was surprised to find a large portrait of William Shakespeare waiting in his office. A group of students removed the iconic portrait from the walls of Fisher- Bennett Hall and delivered it to Esty’s office after an English Department town hall meeting discussing the election, which took place on Thursday December 1. They replaced it with a photo of Audre Lorde, a black female writer."

How to Keep Your Office Holiday Party From Going Off the Rails:
"The office party can be a chance for co-workers to get together in a relaxed setting to celebrate the holidays. Or it can be a memorable event for all the wrong reasons."

Good Grief, It's A Stephen Colbert Christmas Special:
"In this animated holiday classic, Stephen finds out the truth about who won Santa's vote for President."

Hallmark Christmas Movies: How To Make Your Own:
"While watching a Hallmark Christmas movie the other day (don't judge), we realized there is a recipe. The execs at Hallmark must hand this list to all their directors."

Christmas Links #14.

Doctor Who Christmas Countdown:
"With Christmas just a few shopping days' away, and Doctor Who: 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' lined up for a post-prandial eyeball-feast, James Cooray Smith sizes up the previous Yuletide offerings in his festive episode countdown."

New Yorker Christmas Covers, Then and Now:
"If you need a break from shopping for just the right gift to arrive at just the right time, take a look at these vintage New Yorker covers celebrating the rituals of holidays past: you’ll see that it has never been easy."

Today programme announces all-female Christmas guest editor line-up:
"Radio 4’s Today programme will have an all-female cast of guest editors for the first time over Christmas, when it will also break with tradition by broadcasting a guest-edited programme live from Hull on New Year’s Eve."


"Live, History, Jingles, Stories."

Can You Guess The Christmas Movie From Its Opening Shot?
"‘Tis the season!"

The Real Reason Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol:
"After a particularly bleak year, millions in the English-speaking world and beyond will seek some comfort by watching a converted miser in a nightshirt, skipping about as light as a feather. “Whoop! Hallo! …What's to-day my fine fellow?”"

‘I cried all the way home': Terminally ill 5-year-old dies in Santa’s arms:
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist and you know they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."

AC/DC, sledging and booze: dirty deeds to help you cheat at Christmas board games:

"A study reports that playing Highway to Hell could be just the thing to break your opponent’s concentration - but what other tricks will help you win?"

World War On Christmas:
"The planet doesn’t care if you say Happy Holidays."

More Sleigh Bell: A Guide to 2016’s Most Notable Christmas Albums:
"Christmas music can provoke as much strong emotion, or sea-sick ambivalence, as the holidays themselves. Say it’s early December; you’re in a supermarket or bookstore, and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”—or Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” or the Temptations’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”—starts playing. Are you filled with joy, or plunged into a month-long depression? Does the song strike you as pleasantly nostalgic or suffocatingly familiar? Do you love it? Hate it? Love to hate it or hate to love it? Fight or flight? Maybe all of the above?"