15 Christmas Features We WON'T Be Writing This Year

By Gary Cutlack on at

You've probably guessed this already being the savvy online sort who reads more than the headlines, but what happens on a lot of internet sites is that some features at this time of year are written in advance, then scheduled to automatically post around Christmas time so the staff can have a rest. Because this is really hard, you know? I've only had nine tea breaks in the last two hours.

And this, ironically, is one of those pre-written things. But at least it isn't one of these pre-written things, which we won't be doing. Other sites may be, though, so laugh at them if they scrape out any of these particular barrels labelled "EMERGENCY CHRISTMAS LIST CONTENT."

How to Have a Sustainable Christmas

Impossible. It's the most single-use time of the year, with single-use clothes, single-use food, single-use TV and single-use gifts designed not to even last the day. The turkey might make it to day three and we are, as a nation, fairly good at producing the sprouts and potatoes we need without having to fly them in from Costa Rica, but the only real sustainable Christmas is no Christmas. So maybe you should've spent November dropping hints about turning Jehovah's if you wanted to spend December 25 doing anything other than sadly binning plastic.

"Oh Boo Hoo, Christmas is So Much More Commercialised Than it Was"

Oh really, grandad? Like you weren't crying for the most expensive bike and the biggest, sweetest varieties of satsuma in 1949. It's always been like this, ever since Coca-Cola first stole Santa; the only thing that's changed is kids are more shameless about demanding things, and there are more things at all the price ranges.

Best Christmas TV

No point in this any more, not now everyone has 24/7 access to bespoke content recommendations via streaming services. Don't like what's on the main screen in a room? Hold your own personal screen up in front of it and watch your own thing. That's not even considered rude any more.

The typical 2018 family Christmas scene is six people in a room, in silence, Michael McIntyre is on the actual TV, but everyone is watching something entirely different on their own portable entertainment boxes, laughing individually at different times. Poor Michael. He could do something funny about that for next year.

Trends for 2019

Simply imagine an arrow pointing down, for ever. Humanity peaked with Tony Hawk 3 and SSX Tricky in 2001/2002.

How to Buy British This Christmas

This would do the numbers from angry old men trying to source non-foreign gifts for the third wife's kids, but... the nice electrical things that keep little Tommy quiet are all from China, the clothes for Saskia are all via Bangladesh, and even the chocolate for Charlie involves giving money through indirect channels to people toiling in faraway lands. So unless Santa wants to ruin Christmas by only handing out local pottery and crafts, there's not much material here.

Ten Best Gifts for Under £5

If your budget is only £5, don't bother. There is nothing in Argos that is useful and works for less than £5. The only option is to buy chocolate. Get the largest amount of chocolate you can buy for £5. This will probably be a massive Dairy Milk bar branded with the season's biggest Blu-ray release. So an Ant-Man and the Wasp Resealable Dairy Milk Family Pack. Failing that, five Twin Peaks from Poundland.

Best Gifts For a Particular Age Group

The homogenisation of mankind means everything's amazing now, so everything's perfect for everyone. There are no gender or generation specific items any more. Men wear bras now, businessmen wear trainers with their suits, old ladies redeem vouchers for streaming services, young women stagger home with eight litres of cider and a sausage roll, old men collect Lego more than the kids, and everyone looks at a phone. We're basically all clones. Everything is for everyone. And no one needs anything anyway.

How to Have a Brexit Christmas

So much comedy potential here in avoiding overseas foods, drinks, traditions, songs, films, thoughts, people and... everything, but we won't be in the office to police the comments. People might get killed over it. We can't have that. Can't waltz back in on January 8 or whenever to find you all doxxed each other, killed each other and got on the news, because someone dared to suggest Santa is actually based on a German tradition and therefore not in the English Christmas canon. Few enough readers as it is.

Best Gifts For Millennials

They only want money. But make sure you give them a cheque, though, else they'll just blow the lot on iTunes credit on Boxing Day.

How to Survive Christmas

You just have to take it. Like a celebrity accused of acting inappropriately, there's no fighting back. You can't beat it. Take the psychological hit. Sit there and put up with it. There are no hacks, apart from, maybe, trying to sleep through it. Endure it, and it'll soon end. Then there's at least eight months to come without hearing about it again.

How AI Can Help You Have a Merry Christmas

This particular combination of buzzwords is being worked on right now, we guarantee it, by people not allowed to have a negative opinion about what the tech giants are promising. Someone who freelances for Buzzfeed is at this very moment pretending that Amazon recommendations work, pretending that Netflix suggests things you like, pretending that your phone maker's pretend AI system might make your Christmas photos better. AI is still basically a massive lie, isn't it? It's a lie for "a computer choosing things from a list."

Get the Most out of Your New Drone

Oh, you have a drone now? Are you going to be honest and say you used it once and in all likelihood will never use it again? Keep it in the box so it's worth more and sell it. Also, didn't you see the news? Drones are the enemy now.

Best Films on TV This Christmas

Remember when access to films was limited to live TV premieres? All the films are on all the time forever now, if you pay enough.  The TV is only there for comfort, like an old relative that's still alive and gave you a card with £2 in, as we glance at it occasionally when our mobiles are displaying the spinning loading icon. You look at the TV; it's something for kids. You look at the TV again; it's the Queen. You look at the TV later; Michael McIntyre is saying things that happen, and before you know it it's go-on-the-phone-in-bed time. Another day done.

How to magically make your life better

Spoiler: It will be the same, only a bit more depressing because you dared to dream it might improve. Sorry this isn't turning out very Christmassy but you need telling, like in It's a Wonderful Life.

Best health apps for the new year

You won't bother. You don't need an app to go on a bike ride. If you think you need an app or a strap or a £70 automated head-patter before exercising you're procrastinating and will never have a stomach or arms like the men in the films. You won't even look as good in a vest as Noel Edmonds if you think tech can solve manboobs, or whatever the gender-neutral equivalent of manboobs is.

Image credit: Unsplash, Sussex Police