Some of the things reported to have been banned this Christmas:
— Mulled wine banned from being sold by street traders at Christmas fayres in Castleford, West Yorkshire, on the grounds it would break a Public Spaces Protection Order designed to stop street drinkers.
— Christmas lights banned by health and safety officers in Pembury, Kent, on the grounds they each weighed more than 4kg.
— Children banned from sending more than one Christmas card each to classmates at Belton Lane Primary School, Grantham, on the grounds that cards are environmentally unfriendly.
— Glitter banned from Marks and Spencer cards, wrapping paper and decorations.
What psychics said would happen in 2019:
— ‘Duchess of Sussex to have baby girl; Philip Hammond to launch Tory leadership bid’: Nicolas Aujula, who claims to have been an Egyptian queen in a previous life.
— ‘People of North Korea will overthrow their government; tsunami in Halifax,
Nova Scotia; Apple and Samsung merge’: Nikki, ‘psychic to the stars’.
— ‘Two new planets will be discovered that could immediately support human life’: Old Moore’s Almanac.
— ‘After 29 March when Brexit happens and the deal is done Theresa May will resign immediately’: Craig Hamilton-Parker, who went on to predict Boris Johnson would defeat David Davis to become Tory leader.
Years gone by
Some lesser-known anniversaries in 2020:
100th: ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads; first printed beer mats in London pubs, distributed by Watneys; first women jurors, at the Bristol Quarter Sessions.
200th: first recorded double century in cricket — 278 scored by W Ward for the MCC against Norfolk at Lord’s.
250th: pencil rubber, sold by City of London instrument-maker for 3 shillings.
300th: mustard in a jar, sold by Durham-based Clements.
400th: fairground carousel, in Turkey.
Dream come true
How common is a white Christmas?
— A snowflake has fallen somewhere in the UK on 38 of the past 54 Christmas Days.
— Snow has been recorded on the ground at more than 40% of UK weather stations on four of the past 51 Christmas Days.
— The last such occasion was 2010, when snow was lying at 83% of weather stations.
— In 2015, snow fell at 10% of stations, but none had any lying snow.
Source: Met Office