Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Christmas Cards

The other day I received my first ever e-Christmas card. It was very engaging in an interactive-build-a-snowman kind of way. Kept me entertained for at least five minutes. But although they are deemed environmentally friendly, and save on postage and the angst of getting lost/ delayed in the post, you can't hang up an e-Christmas card as a decoration, can you? So for this year Andy and I shall send out the old-fashioned type.

Well, Andy has spent ages drawing a bee-themed card, hasn't he? 'Ding Dong Merrily On Hive' it's called. The design has been printed in tasteful monochrome (okay, the coloured ink has run out of the printer) and decorated with some not-so-tasteful red and green glitter ribbon. Our Much Malarkey Manor logo - Mrs Miggins in semi-profile wearing her Dame Edna specs to add a bit of gravitas - is printed on the back along with the monniker 'Much Malarkey Manor Cards 2010'.

We finished putting them together this afternoon, having spent a morning in Rochester at the Dickensian Christmas Fayre. And stopping off on the way home to buy the Christmas tree. We didn't need to use the traditional cock-a-leg measuring guide for the tree this year because we've re-arranged the living room and so had to go for a smaller tree to stand on a coffee table in the window. We went for a living one planted in a pot. We've got the wild idea of trying to keep it alive for next year. It's a nice little tree - about three and a half feet tall, evenly spaced branches and it sort of chose us so we bought it. And from the Dickensian Christmas Fayre we brought home a truckle of deliciously strong Cheddar cheese, some Dutch waffles, a wreath made from dried oranges and cinnamon sticks which smells divine, and a duck. Not real. A toy push-along variety with entertaining flippety-flop feet. For Kayleigh. But don't tell her. And a new board game for family larks on Christmas Day. Oh, and some mistletoe. For snogging.

'Let's put on some Christmas music and finish our Christmas cards,' I said, because it seemed a cosy coupley thing to do. Out came the double sided sticky tape, the ribbon cutting scissors, the address book. Andy got over-excited and made a complete ribbon-cutting pig's ear of the first card.

'Put it down,' I shrieked, immediately over-taken by control-freakery urge I develop during such activities. (Thank heavens Andy is a Taurean - so stoical and forgiving when I have these irrational issues). 'I'll do ribbons, you do writing.'

And so we did! I also had to do quality control and stamp sticking, Andy was in charge of printing extra cards and addressing envelopes. We sung along to Christmas songs, sometimes making up our own unsavoury lyrics, and we created a rather nifty cottage industry production line. Sometimes we had to put extra P.S's in the cards to explain the bee theme to people who wouldn't know that 2010 has been the Year of the Malarkey Manor Bee-Keeper.

'I wonder what our card theme will be next year?' I said. 'Last year, chickens, this year bees...'
'I don't know,' said Andy. 'I suppose it depends on what we get up to in 2011.'
'We've got the cats to fall back on if 2011 is a damp squib in the new venture stakes,' I said.
'I'm not sure they'll appreciate that,' said Andy.
'Ahahahahahahaha!' I said.

Then ducks, maybe?

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