It used to be that Christmas had arrived in advertising terms when the Coca Cola 'holidays are coming' truck chugged on to our TV screens. Not anymore...
One in five newborn baby deaths are due to infection caused by dirty water and an unclean environment, while sepsis accounts for 11% of maternal deaths around the world. These deaths are completely preventable, and we can help prevent them by improving access to safe water and good hygiene.
Do you know what a wifelet is? By any chance, you ask yourself, is it a bit like a pikelet? Well, not exactly. Although if by pikelet you mean a sort of regional Oop North crumpet, then you're perhaps not too wide of the mark. Before you start getting ideas that this is going to be some pun-laden critique of The Great British Bake Off, sorry, but it's not.
These days I've become increasingly bored of television formats and much prefer the company of my laptop, the neighbours cat (who wanders through my conservatory in a daily escape bid from captivity) and a mug of beef tea.
For me, Christmas is a reading, restful time and I like particularly to read a book that sweeps me into a complete world, somewhere else. It may be a true somewhere else, but it should be far from our own every day. That is precisely what The Queen of Four Kingdoms will do.
Of course, you can resist all you want. Ultimately though resistance is futile. Like it or not, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!, Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth, Wombling Merry Christmas and many others besides will eventually get lodged into your brain and you won't be able to get them out again until New Year at the very earliest.
I must confess that I am a fan of Downton Abbey. But I am worried about the programme, seriously worried. We should not underestimate what a successful TV show can do. Downton Abbey is, in fact, a form of soft nationalist porn that can probably be blamed for the rise of Ukip.
Simon Bricker is the curious art historian played by Richard E. Grant, who has featured in the last few episodes of Downton Abbey and is apparently head over heels with Lady Grantham.
It's been a week of great frustration. There's an Irish proverb about a house with a broken roof, where a man explains that when it's sunny it poses no problem, and when it rains the weather is too bad to fix anything. In most countries, that would be a charming fable.
Last month I highlighted the seven big titles that are set to fill cinemas for the remainder of the year. They were huge films, each of which is likely to be thrust into the public consciousness via the sizeable marketing budgets of the respective distributors. As an alternative, here are seven titles that aren't quite of the same scale but are set to be as notable in their own right.
Chinese tourists love Britain. They love our heritage, our museums, our quaint country villages and, of course, our shops. Many of them will also happily admit they have a slight obsessions with Downton Abbey and Sherlock Holmes.
There have been many predictions that both the Conservatives and Labour will move to the right in the next year, out of fear of the impact of Ukip's anti-multiculturalism. I am not sure if this is the necessary and 'politically correct' route to ensure electoral success in 2015.
Being British isn't enough without having proper tea. Fans of Downton Abbey have dreamt (and dreaded) of a scene wherein they're with the Dowager Countess of Grantham, listening rather awkwardly as she spoke the wittiest of lines while calmly sipping her tea.
Leon and June are our favourites by a country mile, a couple of retired school teachers, Leon can sometimes drop splinters of ignorance, but June's 'voice of reason' corrects the negative to equal truly endearing television.
We're all mad to get home for Christmas because it is the done thing. We spend the rest of the year with these people, they've known us our whole lives, so why - on the one day everyone is meant to be happy - are we forced to swap cracker jokes with them over a dinner fraught with 'I wouldn't have done it like that' tension?
Is there anyone else out there? Or am I the only living being in the entire galaxy who's been left totally unmoved by the current outbreak of Doctor Who-steria? Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against the good Time Lord... It's just that I don't get it (him).