Mathematicians come up with a formula to ensure the perfect Christmas Day, and claim turning off the TV is the key to a happy festive season.
The complex equation relies on three simple rules: no mobiles, no gaming, and no TV before the Queen’s Speech.
Experts claim that staring at the box and other gadgets for long periods of time can discourage family conversation and normalise the special day.
It’s said that the hours should instead be spent ‘harmoniously in peaceful environments’ in order to ensure a joyful Christmas.
The formula, which was developed by mathematician Dr Tim Wren and children’s author Ian Shepherd, is said to be up to 99.9 per cent effective.
Dr Wren, of Math-Tech consultants, told MailOnline: ‘The equation isn’t based on a certain group of people, it’s purely fanciful.
‘We wanted to come up with what an imagination of what happiness at Christmas might be for the average person.’
But Dr Wren says the efficiency of his formula is weakened ‘significantly’ by Clark Griswold-type characters.
He claims dads who exhibit ‘irritating optimistic, jokey and embarrassing’ behaviour will ‘annoy everyone within earshot, formula or no formula’
Mr Shepherd added: ‘Christmas Day is one of those rare occasions when relatives come together – often for the only time each year, and often under a degree of obligation or duress – to celebrate.
‘Expectations are high, alcohol is typically present, and everyone is either physically or emotionally tired. This makes for a volatile cocktail of emotions.
‘This formula provides the key to avoiding up to 99.9 per cent of the inevitable arguments or petty squabbles that may otherwise arise.
‘If people want to experience the idyllic Christmas that they’ve always dreamed of, free of rows and bickering, then the solution is simple and all but guaranteed: turn things off.’
THE FORMULA EXPLAINED
PMerry = the percentage chance of a Merry Christmas
Nm and Ng = the number of mobile phones and games machines in the house on Christmas day.
m and g = the number of mobiles and games machines switched on during Christmas day.
Tq = the time of the Queen’s speech using the decimal hours of the 24 hour clock.
T = the time that the television is switched on using the decimal form of the 24 hour clock.
M, G and Q = the ‘misery factors’.
The ‘misery factors’ are set to 1 for families who are able to cope without the use of devices or television, but go up to 2 and 3 for families who struggle.
Without any devices or television switched on except at the time of the Queen’s Speech, the percentage chance of a Merry Christmas is 100 per cent.
He also claimed family members should be made aware of the no-technology rule long before the big day in order to prevent arguments.
Experts claim that people, especially children, become irritable when they are interrupted from their gadgets by loved ones, potentially leading to arguments.
Psychologist Dr Sue Stebbings, from the University of Hull, said: ‘Essential elements for a happy Christmas include equal amounts of love and affection, kindness and thought towards others, engaging conversation, tasty food and relaxation.
These ideals can only ever be achieved if relatives all ‘contribute to the party’ by switching off their gadgets and actually talking with one another, listening and actively engaging with those around them so that no single person is burdened with having to keep everyone merry.
‘There is nothing wrong with sitting together and watching TV or even playing on a games console, but time spent on technology should be limited.
‘Technology and conversation just don’t mix, and never will do.
‘No one talks to each other if the TV is on all day; no one chats sincerely whilst checking Facebook or texting a friend; and no-one cuddles, giggles or gets to know a distant relative when playing on a computer.
‘If people are too focused on the TV or technology on Christmas Day it can lead to some family members getting resentful and feeling as if they’re doing all the work on their own, or disappointed if they feel they’re being ignored.’