Michelle at Bostik isn’t the only total stranger I’ve sent a Christmas card to this year. I also sent one to the family who live round the corner from me in Leyton.

This is their house:

I have never spoken to this family, but I have often seen the man who lives here standing outside the house. He looks a bit like Charlie from Eastenders. In summer, he stands outside his house, often without a shirt and often with a dog. I’m not sure why he stands there, but he does. I should probably clarify that in summer, the house does not look like this. They only put the decorations up at Christmas.

As with Michelle’s card, I put quite a bit of thought into choosing this. It’s easy if you’re buying a card for someone you know. You know them, they know you. It’s simple. You know if they’re a cheeky-drunken-cartoon-Santa type of person, or a painting-of-a-robin-on-a-snow-covered-branch type of person, or a tasteful-slightly-abstracted-snowflake type of person. But if you don’t know the person at all, it’s difficult. I thought about this long and hard. I went to Paperchase and Scribbler and Cards Galore. I studied each and every card until, in a newsagents around the corner from where I work, I found the only thing that could possibly make sense in this situation:

A kitten dressed as Santa.

This is what I wrote:

The observant among you will no doubt have identified the pen used in writing this card. It’s the Bic Atlantis Stic.

I had meant to send them a card last year, but for whatever reason, I never really got round to it. So maybe I should have sent them two cards this year to make up for it. Plus a third card to apologise.

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