No, really, you shouldn't have
A child (Macaulay Culkin) is left alone at Christmas to fend for himself against predatory home invaders. In his neglected state he gleefully alternates cartoonish acts of violence with childhood ennui. However, the results are “heartwarming” and there’s no need to get social services involved – even when the neglect is repeated in Home Alone 2, 3 and 4.
Anyone who has spent time in the Netherlands in December will have noticed people running around in black face. These people are not racist, insist the Dutch; they are simply dressed as Black Peter, assistant to Sinterklaas (their version of Santa). He’s just black because he came down the chimney, they say. This doesn’t, of course, explain Black Peter’s curly wig, his Surinamese accent or the fact he was formerly identified as a freed slave. Black Peter, they will stress again, is not racist. In fact, many Dutch people think its racist against the Dutch to say that Black Peter is racist.
School nativity plays
In which two young children pretend to be a husband and wife and have a baby in a stable surrounded by prurient shepherds, voyeuristic wise men and insouciant farm animals.
Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
For some reason this is now considered to be the ultimate Christmas film. It’s Roald Dahl’s tale of a deranged plutocrat who bequeaths a chocolate factory to an urchin in a sadistic. secret millionaire style. Nowadays they call this type of activity “corporate social responsibility”. But do the Oompa Loompas have unions and does Willy Wonka pay all of his tax? His ornate space elevator suggests he may not actually be resident in the UK the whole year round. Philanthropy is all well and good, but we’d prefer our charismatic man-children to pay their taxes.
Pipes of Peace by Paul McCartney
In the video for this 1980s pop classic, Paul McCartney re-enacts the first World War truce on Christmas Eve 1914 that saw German and British troops playing football instead of blowing each other up. Both the stuffy, moustachioed Germans and the nonchalant Tommies were played by McCartney himself, thus showing that we aren’t so different from one another because we are all, essentially, Paul McCartney. Terrifying.