This week I have been writing my Christmas cards. In addition to all of the usual recipients, this year I’ve included B’s consultants and even his health insurance provider. I don’t think it hurts to thank people at the same time as spreading some festive cheer. And you never know, there may come a time when someone’s hand is poised over the keyboard, preparing to accept or reject an insurance claim. Memory of my festive greeting could propel that person in the desired direction.
I’m a bit stressed about my card to The Business. I’ve never sent a Christmas card to a neurosurgeon before. I’m aiming for a combination of thanks for his efforts in removing B’s tumour and positive wishes for the holiday season. There’s a fine line between appreciation and sycophancy. I shouldn’t worry too much as it will probably just get tossed onto the pile of cards from everyone whose lives he has saved this year.
I like sending out Christmas cards. The cards I choose must have glitter and preferably a London motif. By that I mean the fictitious ‘London winter wonderland’ involving twinkling lights on famous landmarks, children laughing and playing in the snow, jaunty red double decker buses, comical Beefeaters, that sort of thing. Not the reality, which is drunken office workers and ASBO-wielding teenagers loitering the dimly lit, vomit-strewn streets. Nobody wants to see that on a card.
I also love receiving Christmas cards, but there is one type of card that quickly wipes the festive smile from my face. Imagine, if you will, a card pre-printed with a holiday message eg. Seasons Greetings. Here are the contents of the card received:
J and B
Tom and Barbara
Why darken my door with such a card? What is the point? Barbaba (for you will realise, as I do, that Tom had nothing to do with this) has purchased a card, or more likely a box of cards with the same design. That is fine.
She has then put pen to paper to add the names. She has sealed the envelope, affixed a postage stamp and popped it in the post. Yet there is no personal message of any kind. Give me a sentence at least! It could be anything from the standard ‘Have a great Christmas!’ to something quirky. My friend Tracey has a penchant for ‘May the bluebird of happiness shit on your shoulder’. Or why not express an insincere desire to catch up with me in the new year? I would appreciate that. But nothing? It’s a yuletide kick in the teeth.