The etiquette bible warns: “There is no need to watch each other chewing parsnips”. It does encourage us to make time to Zoom those alone but prefers families to fill their day with old-school pursuits after a year often spent online. Associate director Lucy Hume says: “While the encouraging news about vaccines suggests normality is finally on the horizon, Christmas 2020 will still involve compromise, consideration and adaptation.
But by combining family traditions with new technology, it can still be a Christmas to remember.”
She advises sending cards to those who may not be comfortable with video calls, posting early to avoid upset.
The guide – which assumes households will be able to mingle – calls for a dress code on Christmas Day itself.
Lucy says: “We’ve been keeping it casual most of the year, so make the most of the chance to dress up, at least from the waist up if you’re on Zoom.”
She also advocates retro favourites like charades or a singalong – but don’t even think of serving communal snacks.
Her most surprising tip though: “Have Deliveroo on speed dial in case you’re suddenly allowed extra guests.”
And if Christmas is consigned to the outdoors? Debrett’s recommends a picnic, wellies and flask of mulled wine.