1. As a grownup with a hatred of stamps, envelopes and my own handwriting, I am touched to the point of tearfulness whenever anyone manages to remember my address and post their seasonal good wishes.
2. You could decorate a dishwasher with fairylights and it would still look magical.
3. Seasonal spices! Just dump a load of cinnamon, cardamom or ginger in anything you’re cooking, and it suddenly “tastes Christmassy”.
4. People who swim in the sea every Christmas day.
5. Christmas 24. There is a WHOLE CHANNEL dedicated to showing terrible Christmas movies that never made it to the big screen, and it’s glorious.
6. Specifically, Santa With Muscles – an amazingly awful Hulk Hogan vehicle in which the wrestler develops amnesia and must save some orphans (including Mila Kunis) from an evil property developer who wants to turf them out of the orphanage because it sits above a quartz mine.
7, Champagne. In December, it’s £17 a bottle in M&S, which is cheaper than some of the wines in Wetherspoons – and on Christmas Day you can have it for breakfast!
8. The quiet, moving magic of a carol concert.
9. Punters still go to William Hill and bet money on the odds of having a white Christmas, even though it’s about 15 degrees outside and you’re more likely to get seasonal sunburn. It’s the ultimate triumph of hope over experience.
10. People who obsessively rewatch Love Actually.
11. People who passionately hate Love Actually and write personal essays about it
12. It’s all a bit spooky! According to British tradition, Christmas can be more terrifying than Halloween – and the festive spine-chiller is a literary genre.
13. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
14. The Muppet Christmas Carol.
15. Everything in a cracker is objectively terrible and that’s why we love them so much. Also, when you’re full of booze and feeling a little bit edgy, they can curb any building tension. There is no greater leveller than seeing everyone you love and hate wearing a stupid hat.
16, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Skip the new Snoopy movie and watch this instead.
17. Prokofiev’s Troika. I just found out what it was called after asking my husband “What’s that Christmassy music that they use on the adverts that goes ‘Do-do do do do do, do-do-do, do-do-do, do-do- do-do doooooo!”
18. Tinsel, the fabulous manifestation of the phrase “camp as Christmas”.
19. George Michael’s hair in the Last Christmas video.
20. It’s time to eat the orange’s more manageable and delicious cousins, the satsuma and the tangerine.
21. Santa-esque actor Brian Blessed is never off the telly.
22. Lavish department store window displays.
23. Or even better, the Sale Appliances window display in Westcliff-on-Sea, with their Henry Hoover nativity
24. For a 48-hour period, Baileys becomes a legitimate milk substitute.
25. Christmas knitwear. You can sew baubles on to a jumper you already own. You can blow silly money on something sparkly. Either way, you’re part of the same mad, naff, joyful trend.
26. In December, “cats dressed as Santa” is a completely normal and legitimate Google search.
27. We’re all off work for four days – and if you’re not, you’re allowed to complain as much as you like!
28. They still make the Beano annual.
29. Everyone is encouraged to bring a tree indoors and fill their home with green leaves.
30. Snowball drinkers. Anyone prepared to consume Advocaat mixed with lemonade has the sort of commitment to festive spirit that could win wars.
31. Mums w
32. Christmas Wrappings by The Waitresses.
33. Knackered parents drinking Santa’s sherry in order to provide evidence that “he’s been!”
34. Stockings. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s never not thrilling to find presents at the end of your bed.
35. Contrived “festive” Twitter handles.
36. Christmas toilet roll.
37. People who go really, really far when it comes to outdoor lighting.
39. Conspiracy theorists who think Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas is afestive murder ballad.
40. When out buying gifts, it’s totally normal to drink hot alcohol purchased from a fake Nordic kiosk in a shopping centre at 3pm.
41. You get more party invites in December than the rest of the year put together.
42. If you don’t want to go to any parties, you can lie quite convincingly about having a prior engagement.
43. Judy Garland singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
44. The relative who insists on watching the Dad’s Army Christmas Special, even though they’ve seen it every year since 1972.
45. For a month, biscuits come in really big tins.
46. Strangers bond over horror stories involving delivery companies.
47. You can silently giggle at the grumpy woman in marketing who continues to frown furiously while wearing giant flashing bauble earrings.
48. Pyromaniacs are encouraged to perform party tricks with fire and an Amaretti wrapper
49. Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo.
50. That pervasive, vague, nonreligious sense that if we’re going to try harder to be a bit nicer and kinder to each other, now is the time.
Merry Christmas to one and all!