From a personal perspective, the magic of Christmas wore off several years ago. As a moderately affluent adult with a penchant for retail therapy – I like to think I am helping the country spend its way out of its economic slump – Christmas is a time when I have to restrain myself and allow other people to buy me presents which I would otherwise have bought for myself several weeks earlier. And it’s also that horrible period where normal, civilised people turn into frenzied idiots, fighting over car parking spaces and wielding supermarket trolleys like weapons in the fight to procure the last pack of bite-size party snacks in Waitrose.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love the festive season – turkey, mince pies, the Christmas edition of Radio Times, all that stuff – it’s just that it’s not the big deal it was when I was a kid.

Until this year, that is.