Either I'm getting snobbier, or Christmas cards are getting tackier by the year. For most of the people to whom I send them (local friends and family are given verbal greetings only), Christmas cards are a once-a-year reminder of my existence, and I want them to say something about me. I don't want them to be particularly religious, overly sentimental, or in any way reminiscent of ironic wallpaper. Also, I prefer them to be recycled and in a good cause - because I always tut disappointedly when opening other people's non-charity cards (why wouldn't you?) and it would be hypocritical not to ride my own high-horse.
Having been uninspired by the cards on sale in recent times, this year I used an online service (moo.com) to get some printed using my own photographs. A little narcissistic perhaps, but much more personal and much more 'me'. My favourite of the four pictures I chose is this rather splendid golden goat (pictured above), who we discovered in a funky little bar in Cologne last December. He says much more about my perception of Christmas than any dusty crib scene or cutesy fluffy baby seals rolling in the snow (much as I adore fluffy baby seals). You can see the other designs I picked on Flickr.
For the reasons stated above, I hadn't intended to send out very many cards, so only had 25 printed. These have already run out (if you got one, especially a goat, you are one of the lucky few!) and so I was forced to scour Lewes at lunchtime today looking for a supply of extras (it's too late to get more printed). Even Oxfam, who can usually be relied upon to offer something vaguely tasteful, left me swaying in wide-eyed horror at the crap vileness of their selection. In the end I had to swallow my pride and pick the least offensive. So, apologies in advance to anyone who receives one of these sub-standard variations - please consider this blog post as your official Christmas card instead.