Judging by the number of Christmas cards on display at the major greeting card emporiums I think I can safely predict that the Christmas card is going the way of the dinosaurs. And a good thing too. A decent card costs at least R40 plus another R11 to send it overseas which means that you can easily blow a grand just sending to close friends and family. Personally I would rather give the money to charity but I am well aware that there are still folk out there who will be miffed if they don’t get one from all at number 54A. This year they might be out of luck and I’m blaming Copenhagen. I’m telling people that we are reducing our carbon footprint and are mindful of the amount of fuel it takes to transport our 20 Christmas cards around the world…..which is why you won’t be getting one. Sorry but this year you’ll be getting an SMS. No I know you can’t stand it up on the mantelpiece and look at it but at least you don’t have to wonder who “all at 54A are”. You can just SMS me back and ask, “who are you”?
One of the most maligned Christmas traditions is the round robin letter. Simon Hoggart devoted a whole book to them in The Christmas Letters and reckons they are all about bragging to make the recipient feel envious or else they are all gloom and doom (Uncle Henry finally had his other leg amputated in August and now has to be pushed around in a wheelbarrow). I think there’s an art to the round robin letter and the secret to that art is a mild dose of Walter Mitty syndrome. So here’s the first shortened draft of the letter I plan to send out this year. The fact that joburg.co.za is distributing it saves me identifying at least 250000 e.mail addresses.
“Well, what a year it’s been. Eric Clapton dropped by in January for a jam session at home but we had to stop when the neighbours phoned at two in the morning and said that they were fed up with hearing Layla. The kids have all done well and young Giles has completely shamed Stephen Hawking by rewriting a Brief History of Time in language the younger generation can understand. GR8. Tessa’s modeling career has taken off nicely but we all worried when her weight dropped to under 30kg. She insists that’s what the agencies want so who are we argue?.. Bless her. At least it keeps the food bills down at home.
Donald’s sex change operation wasn’t a complete success and it looks as though he may be in Morocco for a few more months while they try and get things right. I don’t think he’ll be going back to his old job in investment banking somehow. Thus far none of the female members of the family have been named as one of Tiger Wood’s lovers but it’s early days and Susan looks very shifty whenever his name is mentioned and plays a lot with her cellphone. She was au pairing in the US last year so we’re holding thumbs and hoping for a call from a tabloid newspaper. And me….well it’s been another pretty dull year apart from the Nobel prize for economics which I declined because I didn’t want the publicity. It just remains for me to wish you all a very happy Christmas or whatever it is you choose to celebrate at this time of year. And to hope that your lives are a tenth as interesting as ours in 2010. Oh, I forgot to mention….Trevor bought a small nuclear missile back from his business trip to Pakistan. More of that next year….or not as the case may be ”