Let’s get this straight. I LOVE Christmas. In fact, we could go so far as to say that I am a Christmas junkie. I love the chintz, the anticipation, and Bing Crosby (who sings on my Christmas carols album of choice). I also love the smell of cinnamon, plastic baubles and other tacky Christmas decorations that come with instructions written in Chinglish. I love the windows at David Jones, the sound of the bells that I hang on my front gate every year, and watching tipsy secretaries stagger about on their stilettos at 2.00am, after the office Christmas party. I even have a bit of a thing for Santa. Can’t help myself – it’s the facial hair. That man can climb down my…. Ok, never mind that. I’m sure you get the picture.
Unfortunately though, there is one thing that really gets my goat during the silly season. The fly in my soup, I guess you could say. The one thing that simply ruins it all. And that is signing the annual office Christmas card.For those who reach for the wine when faced with hundreds of Christmas cards to sign... Click To Tweet
Now to say ‘Christmas card’ in the singular sense is a red herring, and makes me sound like an utter wimp. I mean it would be fine – possibly even enjoyable – if there were just one. I could write something bright and cheery, reflective of my junkie status and the general ‘I love youse all’ mindset that permeates my buzzy little being at this time of year. But there isn’t just one. There are H U N D R E D S. All arranged into separate Everest-like piles that cover my desk and every adjacent horizontal surface like a sort of hideous contagion – taunting me with blank pages, upon which I feel obligated to write something unique and witty and kind. Every. Single. Time.
I guess it starts off OK. Pretty much every year, I sit down after office hours brimming with good intentions and a glass which is also brimming (with wine), and I set to work. The first five, even the first 10, come off perfectly. My writing is neat, my words are sincere and my very stylish signature consistent. I am on fire, and feeling grand. The next 20 or so are also passable. Sure, I recycle a little bit of prose (there are only so many synonyms for the word merry, right?) but my handwriting is still decipherable, and there are absolutely no traces of alcohol – tangible or intangible – anywhere.How does your handwriting hold up after signing your 200th Christmas card? Click To Tweet
By number 50, things have taken a 72 kilometres-per-hour hairpin turn onto Poop Street. Good cheer has left the building at a dead run, and my hair resembles one of my more straggly bits of tinsel after the Christmas tree lights have an electrical short. I have turned my back on Christianity to become a born again Atheist, and I am beginning to form uncharitable thoughts about my clients, their spotty children, their dogs AND their postmen. Wine is substituted for vodka. Then tequila. Then a quaalude. My writing is about as readable as Dr Cheung’s (my mother’s 78 year old GP), because I am WRITING IN CAPITALS WITH MY PEN HELD IN MY FIST. The office cleaners have made a hasty retreat to clean the bathrooms because somehow, I have become shirtless. And shoeless. The machine has broken down. Christmas blows, and I am moving to Tibet.
One year, I decided to do a little desk research, to find out what maniac in history decided that expressing Christmas greetings in the printed form would be a fine thing to do for the rest of eternity, every single year. This is what I learned: The first Christmas cards were illustrated and printed by John Callcott Horsley in London on the 1st of May 1843, for Sir Henry Cole who had given him the bright idea (and who is singularly responsible for my decision never to shop at Coles again). To my eternal and somewhat redeeming delight, the central picture showed three generations of a family (children included) raising a red wine toast to the card’s recipient. Surely not, I thought. That was just their first year out of the blocks! Fancy resorting to alcohol at that early stage of the game.
Anyway, it’s now 2015, and finally (especially now that I work for Blrt) I feel that its justifiable to send my greetings digitally. And no, I don’t mean extending my arm and raising my middle digit. I mean using pixels. So I’m back in love with Christmas and I’m off to make a Blrt or two over some photos of my little elves, who love Christmas even more than their Mummy does.
If you’d care to join me, send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll upgrade you to premium for a month, so you can spread all your Christmas cheer with total abandon.
Merry, happy, jolly Christmas. May peace, health and happiness be with all of you throughout 2016.