…and smart hacks using tech to help combat them this year

We’ve all heard the horror stories of massive festive fails, whether it’s burnt pigs in blankets or gifts that don’t turn up. But Christmas is supposed to be a magical time.

Maplin, the UK’s number one specialist technology retailer, has released new research which uncovers the most common, socially shared bugbears of 2016, and has come up with simple smart tech hacks to help minimise #ChristmasProblems, and make 2017’s festive period that little bit more magical.

The comprehensive research involved scanning over 100,000 Christmas complaints on Twitter from December 2016 and analysing the trending topics and key complaints to reveal the real bugbears people have at Christmas time.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t hectic shopping centres or wrapping presents that ticked people off – but crap TV, overdoing the tipple and faulty gifts that really got people ranting on Twitter.


  1. Overdoing the tipple 19%
  2. Faulty gifts 14%
  3. Disappointing Christmas TV Specials 13%
  4. Embarrassing relatives 11%
  5. The family Christmas domestic 9%
  6. Disappointing presents 6%
  7. Hangovers 5%
  8. Running out of alcohol 5%
  9. Awkward family small talk 3%
  10. Lack of good telly 3%
  11. Not turning the oven on or off 3%
  12. Cooking disasters 2%

Other 7%

In addition, the results also showed that Mancunians were the biggest humbugs, with 1 in 5 (19.7%) complaints coming from the region, whilst Londoners were some of the merriest (6.7%).

On average, people were typically having their biggest rant on Twitter at 12pm, with a total of 3,585 issue-based tweets between 12-1pm on 25th of December which, unsurprisingly, was also the busiest day for Christmas ranting on social media.

The top five Christmas reasons for complaining were: Socialising (33%), Food (20%), Presents (18%), Family (14%) and TV & Entertainment (13%). Hopefully the British public were exaggerating a touch, but the most common Christmas problem comment was “Christmas Ruined”.


To help make life a little bit easier, even for the humbugs, Maplin has come up with some simple tech hacks that can help alleviate some of the most common #ChristmasProblems:

1. When you just want to be alone

SOLUTION: There’s no need to keep your annoying uncle’s company when he can explore a world of his own. In a virtual reality everyone is entertained throughout the festive period.

PRODUCT: Maplin Pro VR Headset with HD Stereo Headphones – £9.99

2. Family outstaying their welcome

SOLUTION: Subtly hint that it might be time to leave – discreetly turn the heating down using your phone & a smart thermostat, then watch those unwanted guests filter out!

PRODUCT: Nest Learning Thermostat – £199.99

3. Annoying Christmas carollers

SOLUTION: Politely ask carol singers to go away without leaving the sofa by speaking through a remote video doorbell.

PRODUCT: Ring Video Doorbell 2 – £135

4. There’s nothing on TV… Does that mean we have to make smalltalk?!

SOLUTION: Don’t scrape the bottom of the barrel with Christmas TV this year, but instead open your eyes to a world beyond the box and close your eyes off to ranting relatives. Just ask Alexa to ‘Find Christmas Movies’.

PRODUCT: Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote Control – £39.99

5. OMG I didn’t turn the oven on… or off!

SOLUTION: No dinner is complete without pigs in blankets, so ensure you don’t have any burn them by asking Alexa to set a timer. You can then set Philips Hue smart lighting to flash and alert the whole house when you need to check the oven.

PRODUCT: Phillips Hue White & Colour Ambiance Starter Kit – £159.99 AND Amazon Echo Dot – £49.99

6. Settle Christmas debates, once and for all

SOLUTION: Stop family feuds and settle your trivia debates by simply ‘Asking Google’. Alternatively, there are a host of games to play using Google as the moderator or quiz master. Popular games include: Absolutely Amazing Trivia, I Have Never (where Google provides prompts) or Mad Libs, where you fill in the blanks with random words to try to make the funniest phrase.

PRODUCT Google Home – £129 OR Google Home Mini – £49

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