Not sure what to get up to with your time off? We've got you covered with a great selection of seasonal entertainment this Christmas
It’s almost Christmas! Hopefully that spells some much-needed time off work or school, and the chance to binge on a whole heap of TV, movies, music and other top entertainment over the festive break.
But, out of everything available to you online, what should you spend your precious time diving into? Don’t panic; we’ve picked out a choice selection of digital treats worthy of your attention. Here’s everything you need to point your phone at over Christmas…
Festive favourites and off-beat alternatives to while away the hours with this Christmas
It’s just not Christmas without seeing a young Macaulay Culkin slap aftershave on his face and scream his lungs out. Home Alone has winged its way over to Netflix this year, meaning there’s no excuse not to get a sneaky watch in wherever you are.
Arnie’s segue from action star into family-friendly comedy seemed an odd one at the time. But when you get results like 1996’s Jingle All The Way – in which an inexplicably muscle-bound suburban dad must find a rare toy for his kid in time for Christmas – you won’t hear us complaining.
The movie that many consider to be the most festive one of all, John McClaine’s December 24th romp around the Nakatomi Plaza is a must-watch for action movie fans looking to get their Christmas on. Yippee-Kiyay.
Unlikely partners, globe-trotting adventure, campy action and witty banter? Hooten and the Lady aims to emulate the magic formula that the likes of Indiana Jones and The Jewel in the Crown mastered, and doesn’t disappoint. Perfect yuletide family viewing.
Sky’s latest big budget series is an adaptation of the much-loved Jaspet Fforde novels by the same name, and looks set to become a classic family fave. Expect dragons, wizards, and more ‘mild peril’ than you can shake a stick at.
Spotify’s got all the bases covered this year, with a whole section dedicated just to Christmas listening.
A healthy mix of classic Chrimbo tracks and festive compilation newcomers make this playlist a great all-rounder. Stick it on as the soundtrack to your present-opening or dinner-eating to end family music disputes for good.
There’s a more mellow, classic vibe on offer here, with Bing Crosby and Otis Redding rubbing shoulders with Dean Martin. Great for trying to create a Christmas cocktail party atmosphere, or for when the kids have gone to bed.
Here we go. If you didn’t get enough partying in at the office Christmas do, this playlist will help you pump some festive cheer into your holiday get-togethers. Every lively Christmas song you can think of is on the bill, with no musical stone left unturned.
This is: The Yule Log
If all the festive tunes have gotten a bit much for you, why not sit back, chill out, and listen to hours upon hours of the calming sounds of a roaring fireplace? As ever, Spotify’s got you covered.
This American Life: Say Yes to Christmas
We’re big fans of This American Life, the podcast from radio station NPR that constantly tops podcast charts thanks to its great storytelling, in-depth journalism, and unique insight into human nature. But as a change of pace, this seasonal episode from 2015 brings together a bunch of great improv comedians for a live show all about the joys of the holidays.
Mobile apps to help turn even the biggest Grinch into a Christmas-loving loony.
ElfYourself | Android, iOS (Free)
Remember those classic ‘FWD;FWD;FWD’ e-cards you used to get in the internet’s early years that’d have coworkers’ faces stuck onto dancing elves? Now there’s an app for that! Except the ElfYourself app is a serious evolution of that concept, with the animations and digital pryotechnics on offer having been supercharged for 2016.
Portable North Pole 2016 | Android, iOS (Free)
There’s no need to traumatise the little ones at your shopping centre’s pop-up Grotto; just download the Portable North Pole app instead! It offers personalised greetings and messages from St Nick, alongside interactive storytelling that’ll wow any kids you show it to.
A Call From Santa | Android, iOS (Free)
A Call From Santa is another way to get some personalised contact with the big man. The app mimics your phone’s incoming voicemail screen, letting you select your child’s name and choose from a range of messages, including ones that tell them to behave. There’s even a chat section of the app that lets kids enter into a text conversation with the man himself.
The Impossible Test: Christmas | Android, iOS (Free)
There are now loads of Impossible Test versions available on the App Store and Google Play, with each boasting challenging quiz questions and fiendish minigames. This seasonal variant is no different, meaning it’ll help you while away the hours in-between presents and dinner. Or between dinner and presents, depending on how your family rolls.
Get more from your mobile… Check out our roundup of this month’s best new and updated apps.