So. Marmite Sprouts are now a thing. Thanks Iceland.
You'll either love them or you'll really, really hate them.
GOOD FILM ALERT! Cancel Christmas: Sony Movies Christmas (07:00)
Markets Ending: London/Southbank/London Eye, London/Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London/Leicester Square, Stoke, Swansea
Markets Ending: Edinburgh
GOOD FILM ALERT! Christmas Magic: Christmas24 (19:00)
GOOD FILM ALERT! The Christmas Train: Christmas24 (13:00)
GOOD FILM ALERT! Cancel Christmas: Sony Movies Christmas (07:00); Christmas at Holly Lodge: Christmas24 (15:00)
Markets Ending: Bournemouth, Worcester
And that was 2019 - a year that was far too scary and exciting for its own good.
It's unavoidable that the national situation killed the vibe somewhat, but we were relieved that the major brands didn't play it safe this year with their ranges and adverts. We needed those epic adverts to just take the edge off what was going on in Real Life.
YOU try being festive when you have no idea what the immediate future held!
Anyway, we got through it, and we hope that life is a little more boring next year. Life is certainly going to be very different, that's for sure...
We'll be here again, hoping to offer you a distraction from All That, and we'll be back for the Summer Christmas Press Shows again.
Thank you so much to all of you who sent in links, who took part in various chats, and to all those who bought us coffee. Never has a box of stollen tasted nicer than when it's been bought by someone who loved our work.
It's back to reality tomorrow. It may be January 1st 2020, but it'll only be another six months until we're back in the swing of things again for our tenth Christmas Run-Up.
Until then, have a peaceful New Year and a saner 2020.
-- Linus & Nick.
So here's the updated King Of Christmas League Table:
1) [--] 6-31 M&S
2) [+2] 5-23 Sainsburys
3) [-1] 5-38 Sky Cinema
4) [+2] 4-14 Asda
5) [--] 4-18 John Lewis
6) [-3] 4-19 Very.co.uk
7) [--] 4-21 Aldi
8) [--] 4-24 Argos
9) [+2] 4-30 Boots
10) [NE] 3-10 Barbour
11) [RE] 3-17 McDonalds
12) [-3] 3-19 TK Maxx
John Lewis was looking quite precarious at the end of last year after a lack-lustre run, only holding its position because most of the big names misfired last year, but Excitable Edgar has helped redeem themselves.
Sainsburys is now nipping at M&S' heels - it's a tough time financially for the latter these days, so they could be vulnerable to being overtaken by the former next year. We shall see...
Bubbling under are Waitrose (who deferred to John Lewis this year), Matalan (who appear to have just given up these days), Cadburys (who are just recycling ads now) and KFC (which appear to act very randomly indeed every year).
Next year will be our tenth Run-Up, let's see how that plays out...
KingOfChristmas #1: M&S - non-mover, 6 appearances, 31 points
With six 12 Ads appearances in nine years, M&S maintained their #1 spot here in spite of misfiring this year. Here's 2014's Christmas fairies ad.
KingOfChristmas #2: Sainsburys - up 2, 5 appearances, 23 points
This year's 12 Ads champion leaps up to number two, with the top spot in sight for next year. Here's Sainsbury's Christmas Truce epic from 2014.
KingOfChristmas #3: Sky Cinema - down 1, 5 appearances, 38 points
Sky Cinema generally have two sorts of Christmas ad: the movie mash-up and the countdown, although this year's misfired. Here's 2011's "Homecoming".