How to secretly ruin Christmas for everyone

Or, you can put your potatoes in a bit sooner. Cover them in gravy so no one can tell they're all brown. And mention you're thinking about going vegan in the new year. Plant the seeds for next year now.

Brussel's sprout non-compliance penalties


Leave one and all chocolate is confiscated. Leave two and all alcohol privileges are revoked. Leave three and you can't watch TV. Leave four and the Wi-Fi password gets changed. Leave them all and they roll over until tea time. Then breakfast the next day. Then lunch time.

They will comply.

Internet-proof the bathroom


The average length of a toilet break in 1994 was 90 seconds. Today it's more like 17 minutes, as everyone retreats to the only lockable room in the house to snigger at photos of dogs with party hats on posted by their favourite international brands, instead of being with their family in blessed, awkward togetherness.

Stop people grabbing some phone-looking-at fun by putting your router as far away from the bathroom as possible, and maybe some tin foil under the bath mats. See them come back from the toilet all sad and frustrated, probably without even remembering to do a fake flush.

Divest from fossil fuels


By which we mean turn the Christmas lights off. Unless you can be sure your electricity is nuclear or wind made, sitting there with 200 fairy light bulbs reflecting on the TV is like watching a live satellite image of the world burning from space.

Turn the brightness down on the TV, too. If people can't see properly, they might go home sooner. Being in an empty house by 8:00pm is the only way to "win" Christmas.

Change the Streaming Passwords


"Dad, I can't log in to Netflix for some reason". Oh well, it's probably down because of all the people insisting on watching The Snowman across the country . Go and play with those toys we bought you. Preferably outside or at someone else's house.

Hold a Reverse Christmas in June


For May and June next year, only play the same seven songs all the time, while telling everyone they're a killjoy if they ask you to turn the volume down. Something enjoyable but unremarkable, like 'Living on a Prayer' and 'Take On Me' and others of that inoffensive soft rock genre, so people get the message about how strange the concept of Christmas music is to people who don't like it very much.