The 10 best carols to enjoy this Christmas (including one that will annoy the French…)

There are lots of reasons to love a carol. It might be the thumping good tune, it might be the story it tells, or the ingenious words, or the mystery of it. Here are my top ten, with the reasons... Read more

How to decode the art of the Nativity

Artists have been searching for ways to depict the birth of Christ, which, it is sometimes easy to forget, lies at the very heart of the Christmas holiday, since the beginning of Christianity. The earliest art that we know of... Read more

A Kitten for Hitler: the most offensive Christmas film ever made

Out of the kindness of his heart, and in the hope of achieving world peace, Lenny travels alone to Germany, and presents Hitler (Phil Pritchard) with a (mechanical) kitten in a box, which Eva Braun (Rosey Thewlis) opens and presents... Read more

The best Christmas films to watch on Netflix UK in 2021, from Single All The Way to David and the Elves

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without fixing your eyes on the TV, for hours on end, watching festive films. It doesn’t even matter that many of them are completely terrible. From old-time classics such as Love Actually to new movies, starring the likes... Read more

‘What happened to her was slut-shaming’ – why the ‘dirty’ Duchess of Argyll deserves a fair hearing

Foy finds it ‘incredibly dispiriting’ that the sexist shorthand for Margaret Argyll remains ‘Dirty Duchess’. ‘This moralistic weaponising of women’s sexuality – in either direction – is deeply irritating. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.... Read more

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas, review – Aardman delivers a fun, cuddly family watch

In the age of streaming everything on all your devices whenever you feel like it, family viewing – something you can watch together round the flat-screen hearth “that doesn’t totally suck”, as my eldest puts it – has become TV’s... Read more

The Amazing Mr Blunden, review: a fun festive tale – if you can handle a real fright

A new Mark Gatiss show is fast becoming as essential to a proper Christmas as a family argument. As ever on Christmas Eve, we will enjoy his MR James adaptation, this year of The Mezzotint on BBC Two. And Gatiss... Read more

All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special, review: as cosy and comforting as you could wish for

You could watch It’s a Wonderful Life while eating some figgy pudding, wearing a Santa hat and pulling a cracker, and it still wouldn’t feel as Christmassy as the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special. Some shows like to... Read more

It’s not Sage’s job to spread gloom or optimism, says Sir Patrick Vallance

The Government’s chief scientific adviser has defended the “the unenviable task” of epidemiological modellers during the Omicron outbreak as he said it was not their job to “spread gloom”. Sir Patrick Vallance said it was not the responsibility of the... Read more

Chopper’s Festive Quiz, with Michael Deacon, Camilla Tominey and Tim Stanley

In need of some seasonal cheer? Are the daily lateral flows somewhat dampening your spirits? Come and join Christopher Hope plus his Telegraph pals for a festive quiz on his weekly Chopper’s Politics podcast. Chopper is joined by associate editor... Read more

Friday evening UK news briefing: MPs should ‘learn from’ the Queen, says Mike Tindall

It comes as two leading scientists have rejected accusations of issuing “doomsday” warnings over the threat posed by the omicron variant of Covid-19. Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, insisted that omicron remains a... Read more

Tougher Covid rules lasting until spring among several proposals drawn up by experts

Tough new Covid restrictions would come in next week and last until the spring, under one scenario which has been modelled for government scientists. Papers released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) included University of Warwick modelling looking... Read more

Questor: inflation is rising relentlessly and our Wealth Preserver portfolio has its work cut out to keep up

We in Britain are unlikely to be so lucky: the loss of value of the pound domestically – which is what the consumer prices index measures – will in our view be mirrored by a loss of its international value,... Read more

The four most common questions financial advisers are asked

Applying for “individual protection 2016” also gives a lifetime allowance of £1.25m. Savers are eligible for this provided that all pensions added together came to a value of at least £1m on April 5 2016.  The lifetime allowance does not... Read more

‘Do we have to keep paying for an accountant just because we own our flat’s freehold?’

Dear Property Doctors,  Two years ago, along with four other flat owners, we formed a private limited company and bought the freehold of our flats. We each pay a monthly amount into a maintenance fund which is held separately from... Read more

Three stocks investors shouldn’t miss out on buying next year

Few market events are as potentially lucrative as the flotation of a promising new company – especially on the first day, when a stampede of new investors can create a happy share price “pop”. But not every flotation has had... Read more

The most in-demand commuter towns of 2021

In Brentwood’s CM15 postcode, house prices soared by 22pc to £448,780. This was the largest price jump in the top 10 commuter postcodes for transaction growth. Tara Tresadern, of William H Brown estate agents in Brentwood, said: “I’ve been an... Read more

How to have yourself a merry campervan Christmas

Privacy, therefore, is an issue, unless you close and popper up the curtains around the back end of the van first. This, of course, takes time, so it’s a pain if you’re desperate.  There’s then a rollerblind that you can... Read more

Is Santa’s sleigh road legal? Why Father Christmas might be flouting British laws tonight

The sleigh has few practical advantages over a modern car, but even our resolutely pragmatic motoring desk understands the importance of tradition at this time of year. Of course, Father Christmas would be significantly better off in a solid Volvo... Read more

Dear Prue: ‘What’s one sure-fire tip for Christmas food?’

Dear Prue,  We will be doing turkey and cold cuts but I’d like one light meal, either breakfast on the big day or even Boxing Day lunch, that isn’t too heavy and meaty, and isn’t too complicated to put together... Read more

How to use up leftover roast turkey this Christmas

Christmas leftovers can be both a blessing and a curse; the initial joy of the Boxing Day turkey sandwich, so satisfying with its hit of sweetness from a spoonful of chutney, can quickly become tiresome when repeated meal after meal. This... Read more

‘I finally found happiness with my third marriage’

After swearing she would never wed again following her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney, Heather Mills has reportedly joined that rarefied clique: the Third Marriage Club. Other prominent female members include Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath – married five times;... Read more

How to have the perfect Christmas day – according to Gogglebox’s Giles and Mary

What are the ingredients for the perfect Christmas Day? A survey of 2,000 people, conducted by Onepoll, has the answers – or, rather, it has some rather saccharine ideas about what the average Briton thinks makes the perfect Christmas. However,... Read more

The festive Australian cake that reminds me of my godmother

A crackle on the landline, then a pause. “William?” comes a distant voice. “It’s your godmother Mary. I’ve set the egg timer. We’ve got 20 minutes.” That I may not have even three is immaterial. When Mary Adamson calls from... Read more

Lockdown vested interests hate omicron good news

The working-from-home crowd can get their PJs and slippers back on. Incompetent NHS managers have a ready-made excuse for postponing non-Covid treatments while getting a vast increase in their budgets. A handful of poorly run, oligopolistic corporations can make easy... Read more