Sunday, 17 December 2006

Merrily On High

I have been told that my choice of topics in the pre-Christmas period so far has been shamefully inappropriate, and I suppose this is true: there are very few aspects of Tory policy, marine diatoms or prostitution which are likely to waken anyone’s festive spirit.

So here we go on a series of Christmas-themed posts; it’s a bit early to start this because I doubt if I can keep it going for a whole week, but we shall see.

Many years ago when commercial silkscreen printing was in its infancy a friend and I started a little business making and selling, among other things, Christmas cards, in both secular and religious designs. Our artists were equally proficient at both but found the former enabled them to adopt a more uninhibited approach. Here are two of our designs; angels are timeless (obviously), but the style of the other drawing has dated a bit.

Sadly, the unsold stock is long since exhausted and nowadays we have to buy cards. Everybody knows that charity cards sold in shops give only a derisory share to the charities which produce them and most of them are awful anyway, so we get ours from a local voluntary organisation which pops up every year to offer a selection of cards from all the charities, and presumably passes on a fair slice of the proceeds.

Most of these designs are pretty awful too, and one also has to choose from those supplied by a charity of which one approves. Well, I suppose all charities are deserving in one sense (except maybe Eton and Harrow and all that lot, whose charitable status gets them £100 million a year in tax relief) but most people would rather give money to some than to others.


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