23 Christmas Things That Are Now Extinct

There are many things you associate with Christmas, but quite a few of them have now gone the way of the Dodo (which was what we ate before turkeys). The following are some examples of festive-extinction, which will never trouble our Christmases again…

1. Chocolate Junior Smoker’s Kit

It had everything the young smoker would possibly want – fags, cigars, lighter, ashtray – all made of chocolate.

2. Blue Nun

The plonk of choice throughout the 1970s.

3. Yule Log

Not the chocolate ones, actually, there are still lots of those. We used to burn special decorated wooden ones for good luck. In some countries they would hit logs with a stick until they shat presents. True fact.

4. Having time off work

Pretty much everyone except for the emergency services would have Christmas Day off. Now people are checking their work emails before the turkey is served.

5. Everything being closed

Likewise, no shops were open on the big day. If you’d forgotten the stuffing you were, well, stuffed.

6. Carol singers

OK, so these annoying buggers are still around but they are definitely on the decline. Thank goodness.

7. No contact

Nowadays we can be in touch with friends and relatives throughout the festive season via email, text, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There was once a time, a wonderful time, when people left you alone on Christmas Day.

8. Parker pens

You’d get one every year. From a great aunt. She would have bought it from the special pen counter at WH Smith.

9. Ronco records

Raiders of the Pop Charts, Chart Encounters of the Hit Kind, Russ Abbot’s Madhouse Album…

10. Pocketeers

These glorious mechanical games were all the rage for about two years before the microchip rendered them obsolete.

11. Gift vouchers

Buy them. Watch the company go bust. Throw them away.

12. Soap on a rope

It only really existed because it rhymed.

13. Annuals

Before the days of One Direction and Minecraft annuals we had proper ones such as Whizzer & Chips, Cheeky and Buster.

14. Paperchains

No classroom was complete at Christmas without metres of paperchains covered in the spit of the small children who had made them.

15. Cards that won’t stand up

And no mantelpiece was complete without a bunch of cards so thin they collapsed under the weight of the ink used to write on them.

16. Christmas post

Always leave it too late to post your cards? It wasn’t that long ago that the postman delivered on Christmas Day.

17. Angel hair

For a while this weird stuff was a genuine rival to tinsel.

18. Thank you letters

Kids no longer spend Boxing Day writing long thank you letters to relatives they have never met.

19. Woolworths

The one-stop shop for Christmas. Until it stopped being a shop.

20. TV shows with more than ten million viewers

Last Christmas was the first time that no TV show on Christmas Day was watched by more then 10 million viewers. Morecambe & Wise used to get 24 million.

21. Disney Time

It was shown every year around this time. Hosts included the ever- suitable children’s TV presenters Rolf Harris and Jim Davidson.

22. Ceefax

Wake your parents up at 4am. Run downstairs and open all the presents. Turn the telly on. Watch pages from Ceefax.

23. January sales

Believe it or not, these used to start in January. Now they kick off at the end of November.

These and a whole host of other extinct and endangered festive things are celebrated, mourned and ridiculed in Christmas Dodos by Steve Stack.