Seasons greetings


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
Seasons Greetings
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.




  1. Clive (aka The Hungry Hedgehog) · · Reply

    If it really was from Tom and Barbara, the card would be hand-made. After all, they are the archetypal self-sustainable couple!

    1. Haha, I hoped someone would be old enough to understand that reference!

  2. Sorry – is the reference british?

    1. Tom and Barbara are a couple from a 70s British tv show – The Good Life. Not sure why I even chose those names!

  3. My cards take ages because I insist on writing a few lines to personalise each one. Veda happily rattles hers off and sits smugly while I struggle on with my old-school ways…

    1. I’m impressed!

  4. […] on from my post about Christmas cards, I’ve been mourning the loss of my favourite type of card – those […]

  5. I am the one who says “May the bluebird of happiness shit on your shoulder.” You are just making sure i read your blog, aren’t you?

    1. Well I had a 50% chance of getting that right – and now we all say it!

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