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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Card Shark.

The most exciting post I get these days is when I’ve done something special for my friend Cesca, or my mum, as they are both thank-you card types of people. Sometimes my mum puts a little pressie in there too and I get all excited because it’s not a letter from the bank telling me I’ve done something wrong.

And that’s what I used to love about Christmas. Christmas cards galore, flooding my letterbox, the novelty stamp the Royal Mail provide at this time of year stuck in the corner. The proud display all along the mantelpiece. A little bit of news from relatives, a little bit of banter from friends. An impressive array of cards, some fancy, some old fashioned. Some, like my own, from Paperchase.

Ah, Paperchase. Maybe that’s why I love Christmas cards so much. Every year I can’t wait for the excuse to enter it’s glitter filled grottos and browse the tat. I always opt for the charity cards, because I’m such a good egg, but the important thing is the message I’m sending out. (Not Happy Christmas, the other message) ‘I’m the kind of girl who shops in Paperchase. You lucky little recipient.’

Alas, these days, fewer Christmas cards plop onto my doormat. Do I have less friends? Probable. But I blame the internet. It’s ruining my Christmas card collection.

Ok, so there are less trees being chopped down, which is a good thing. But it could be argued that we’ve all got our computers on for longer while we compile these awful, cheesy, sometimes interactive, always deleted Christmas email cards, thus using up more fossil fuels and resulting in the end of the world far sooner than would have happened had we cut down a few trees (and replaced them with new ones – Paperchase is well eco-conscious innit.)

So there you have it. When you compile an e-card (even the term is horrendous) you are bringing about the end of the world. (This is probably not true.) I just got an e-card from someone I do business with. She hadn’t even bothered to address it to me. Instead, it was to ‘Undisclosed recipients.’

Wow, I feel so special. I’m an undisclosed recipient. Thanks so much. Delete.

All those Christmas cards on my mantle piece go one of two ways after Christmas. They either get cut up and used as present tags next year, or if they’ve got a good, funny, personal, loving message from someone special, I’ll put them in my drawer of special things. I’d never actually print out an e-card so they just all get deleted. Where’s the joy in that? My grandchildren won’t get to look through a box of deleted messages one day and look at the beautiful hand writing Aunt Kiki had, or the fancy velvet stars on Amy’s card (she totally out-swanked me this year. I’ll get her back next year. Maybe I’ll up my game and get my cards in Harrods. That’ll show her. I’ll get a 3D card. Glitter will fall into her lap and a butterfly will fly out.)

There are some contenders already for greatest Christmas card given to me. (It’s a yearly contest, FYI.) Because although I’m moaning, some people still send.

Check out these beauties, my top four. Not sure who’ll be crowned the best yet, but the odds are on my future mother-in-law for her genius-ness.

The aforementioned velvet card from Amy. I’m not sure if the velvety goodness comes across here, but trust me, these stars are stroke-able. Oh, and I’ve just checked the back of the card and she only bloody shops in Paperchase too. Course she does! What a legend.

This mildly alarming and eccentric card comes from Peter. Nothing like a card with the words ‘violence, war, terrorism, racism, exploitation and bigotry’ ablazoned on the front to make you feel like it’s time to boil some mulled wine and wrap your presents. Jesus. But he does get a bonus point for it being homemade.

This sexy little number is from Will and Laura. Will works for the Queen so he probably got this card for free. Very regal.

Open it up and what have you got? Only the best picture of 2011! There’s a picture of Will and Kate inside a card from Will and Laura. And I’m not even sure Will and Laura are aware of my infatuation with Will and Kate. Nor are Will and Kate, for that matter, but that’s probably for the best.

And finally, this beauty. It glitters, it’s specifically for a mother’s son and his fiancée, it’s got a swinging bit of gold stuff. It just sums up everything that’s classic about the art of card-giving. Paperchase may do velvet, but Clinton cards know how to do old-school sentiment.

All these cards will find themselves in my special box of memories come January. They’re splendid.

To send me a card and enter my competition (I’ll send a prize to the winner) (I probably won’t) you can attempt to better these. Here’s my address:

Kim Willis
C/o Paperchase HQ
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