Families come together at Christmas to ignore each other and stare at phones

Families across the UK are looking forward to festive fun, conviviality and good cheer in the company of their loved ones, with the most popular activity this year likely to be sitting in the living room in festive hats, ignoring each other completely and watching Christmas-themed cat videos on Facebook.

"Sitting on your arse watching different pointless shit on several little screens has replaced sitting on your arse watching the same pointless shit on one big screen as the most popular festive family entertainment," Christmas expert Dave Golde-Rings told us. "It's a far cry from the Victorian parlour games of old, but possibly an improvement on bear-baiting."

Alongside videos of cats in santa hats going mano a mano with Christmas decorations, Facebook is also expected to serve up Instagramed photos of your friends' roast parsnips and uplifting festive posts that invite you to 'share' if you agree with whatever saccharine, thought-free bullshit they are attempting to convey. And yet watching even this fan-fiction simulacrum of festive entertainment will be infinitely preferable to helping your children build a Lego Millennium Falcon, talking to your partner or loading the dishwasher for the fourth time.

Meanwhile, although Christmas is a time for enjoying the company of loved ones for many, for others it can bring loneliness. "It's important at this time of year that we all take time to remember the elderly, the sick, and the lonely - those who don't have anyone at home to ignore in a Turkey-induced coma or fight with over the remote control," Mr Golde-Rings told us. "Although obviously in the New Year society can return to its default setting of shallow materialism and callous indifference."

Merry Christmas to all our readers from everyone at NewsCross.