It is that time of year when Christmas card arrivals gather pace.
In my Balham flat, growing up in the 60s, my mother would hang cards over hastily-erected pieces of string which, the more cards we received, the greater the chance of being garrotted!
In those days you’d buy a box of mixed cards, marginally heavier than greaseproof paper adorned with various winter and/or biblical scenes; the hierarchy of your friends and family would be determined by whether they got the (un-Christmassy) robin, a snowman in the shape of a wise man or the baby Jesus surrounded by donkeys, incense and virgins.
However, something which has crept into Santa’s postbag is the round robin letter from people you’ve not heard from since exactly a year ago!
Sadly, and this might be an only child thing, I couldn’t give a toss about the successful summer’s holiday, how (insert your own pretentious child’s name here) has integrated into the local Kindergarten or how the entire family is learning Italian – such was the triumph of the aforementioned trip to Tuscany and everyone now knows how to correctly pronounce the word Latte.
Also enclosed in the envelope is a picture of the entire family (many of whom you’d not have babysit your own kids) all dressed in the same onesie taken at Christmas last year; which begs the question: why do people dress normally for 364-days of the year only to have a total sartorial brain aberration at Christmas?
Happy Christmas, mine’s a Latte and Arriverderci, Roma.