Christmas Cards & the Joy Of Not Seeing a Nativity Play

Posted on December 12, 2012

This week has not really been a great one so far, it has featured a seized up knee, another defeat for hapless Reading FC (currently sinking faster than an Italian cruise ship) and a youngest son going through a teenage menopause that is giving him the temperament of a rattlesnake.

Just when I didn’t think it could get any worse I got a phone call from my eldest sister, Lorna, asking for an unwritten but verbally binding contract stating that we wouldn’t cause each other pangs of guilt by sending last minute Christmas cards that would arrive far too late for an emergency response.

The lack of a Christmas card didn’t upset me, it was more the fact that I hadn’t yet written or indeed, purchased any, as I have been in a state festive denial, a common affliction in men when their children pass the age where they can be still be ruthlessly conned in to action by a threat to grass them up to Santa Claus. After five years, I have long been clear of the pain caused by divorce but I still miss Emma (my ex-wife) dearly when it comes to writing Christmas cards, something she did for fourteen years without apparent fuss.

Gentleman, may I say that even if you have a horrible and spiteful wife who is a constant thorn in your side whilst filling you with repressed misery on a daily basis, objecting to your clothes and friends whilst draining you of all your hard earned cash, just take a step back and consider what it is like writing Christmas cards. If your horrible wife does this without fuss, year in year out, for God’s sake get a counselor as you have a marriage worth fighting for.

A Robin waiting for the rare sighting of Bob Lethaby actually remembering to post something.

Whilst my kids are no longer at the age where they can conned by Santa, at least there is the bonus that they are no longer junior school kids showing all the acting ability of Stephen Hawking, rendering them so fucking hopeless that the most dramatic part any of my two played in a Christmas Nativity play was a cactus. These bit parts were something I was made to suffer yearly as I sat for hours on end surrounded by wankers having a “Who’s got the best camcorder competition” before boring their friends and relatives to a stupor with what were generally piss poor productions made by soppy looking male teachers with dubious sexual orientation.

Of course, their piss poor acting ability came from the gene of their father whose thespian highlight in a Nativity play came when I accidentally trod on the tail of Joseph’s coat, rendering Renny Smith naked all bar a pair of Brentford nylons Y fronts. Our esteemed headmaster, Mr Searing, failed to register it as an accident and caned my peachy young bottom into oblivion before sending a cine film copy of the highlights to his good friend Jimmy Savile. When I look back at that period of my life I wonder why the police don’t just arrest the 1970’s and be done with it.

So I am writing this blog post half way through going through my Microsoft Outlook address book in a bid to remember anyone deserving of a card with a snow covered Robin on it. I bought the stamps at Staples but they only had twelve Santa Claus ones and a few books of 2nd class ones left, so I decided that people I liked would get the nice ones and the people I feel obliged to send them to would get the 2nd class crap ones. However, I thought this may give the game away so I decided to add a bit of spice to the occasion by shuffling them up in a cup and hey presto, a client who hates me and never pays me on time got a nice Santa one. That’s how life works, the worse they treat you, the more you crave for their attention.

Don’t get me all wrong, I like Christmas, it lightens the mood and everyone, at least on temporary basis, tries to be nice to each other, it even stopped the killing in World War 1 for a day or so. Do I believe in Jesus? Yes, I guess so, he must have existed in some form or another, and my theory is he was the David Icke of his day, fucking bonkers but quite convincing, especially after some fine wine and a few joints…aren’t we all? Do I believe he walked on water? Well it’s not impossible; I did it at Wasing lakes after a bucket of magic mushrooms. Do I believe he envisaged a world where one day, parents would reach financial meltdown buying X boxes and iPads? Call me old fashioned but I think it’s doubtful, that’s why my kids are getting bread and fish this year.

In the meantime, if I somehow manage to transfer the cards from my kitchen table, to my car and finally, into a post box, when you receive this festive gesture, look at it admiringly, wipe a tear of joy from your eye and remember that it is Christmas and miracles do indeed happen.

If you know a big, ugly, spiteful forty something female tyrant who would generally make my life a misery but loves writing Christmas cards, send her round, a romance may be about to blossom!

2 Replies to "Christmas Cards & the Joy Of Not Seeing a Nativity Play"

  • Sherry
    December 12, 2012 (6:39 pm)

    Hi Bob
    I have a solution. Send the one card to everyone via email address. Take a photo and send it to everyone on Facebook and on your web page. Then tell everyone the proceeds of purchasing cards are going to a deserving charity! Job done….Personally I did all mine and sent them out on the 1st December because I hate shopping at Christmas in the rush. I’ll only go to the shop for food! Good luck

  • Lorna
    December 12, 2012 (8:37 pm)

    Truth is I don’t think society expects men to write Christmas Cards, they have far more important things to do!! What is good though, is the imperative for me to get the odious task completed propelled me into picking up my mobile and contacting my long lost youngest brother to catch up on our news which, in fact, was far more rewarding than phoning Dad for your address, (still don’t know it), and sending you a card with a Robin on looking hopefully at a mailbox! So Merry Christmas Bob and a Happy New Year!

    Dette and I laughed very heartily at the notion of arresting the 1970’s

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