A guide to having an actually happy Christmas

Is Christmas a time of magic, generosity and conviviality? Or of overconsumption, stress and social anxiety?

It is easy to make a case either way: Listen to Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmas Time, followed immediately by Tom McRae's slow sighing cover of the song and hear the same lyrics convey backslapping cheer and solitary despair.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2018, with the headline 'A guide to having an actually happy Christmas'. Print Edition | Subscribe