Although Christmas may have changed a great deal over the years, its essence remains reassuringly familiar to the majority of pensioners – especially when any or all of the following are included in the festivities.

Queen’s speech.  A short talk by Brian May, usually on Christmas Day, and sometimes accompanied by a badger on the piano

The Guns of Navarone.  The quintessential Christmas film, perfectly capturing the spirit of the season through a lot of explosions in Greece and Gregory Peck.

Cranberry sauce.  A traditional accompaniment to turkey which is bought every year to replace the jar of furry purple stuff in the bottom left-hand corner of the fridge.

Crackers.  Thin, tasteless biscuits which can be stapled together to make hats, thimbles and eye-patches to add hours of riotous fun to Christmas lunch.

Ashen faggots.  A sadly neglected tradition in which bundles of ash sticks are burnt on an open fire, with the embers being scattered over passing wassailers singing Dunster carols while eating mistletoe pies and kissing each other under a reindeer.