Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Annual Task

Thank God! It’s over and done with for another year.
Now I can relax and enjoy the remaining 13 days of 2006

Why is it such a big deal? Why am I tense and bad tempered for days before I finally get around to it?

It only involves a visit to Oxfam (very convenient because I buy my clothes there as well), finding the ‘list’, buying some stamps, searching for addresses on bits of paper all over the place, writing insincere messages, licking the envelopes and sticking the stamps. And thank you Royal Mail for their self adhesiveness.

I don’t mind giving cards to my mates. I always see them at this time of year and we do it in the flesh.

Top of the depressing ‘list’ are ‘relatives’ - e.g. cousins in Cheshire and Chingford (is that ‘down South’?) Then there’s the ex colleagues - they never seem to be the ones you got pissed with or collapsed into helpless giggles with during staff meetings.

It’s always the worthy types who send Christmas cards.

A few of my mum’s old friends are there as well. They are probably dead by now but no one would bother to tell me.

Perhaps my problem (like most problems) goes back to childhood. Writing the Christmas cards was my dad’s responsibility.

It was his only responsibility.

He usually carried out the task on a Sunday afternoon. Throughout the day mum would be nice to him - which was very unusual. She would even give him a few of her ‘Capstan Full Strength’ and pour him a seasonal glass of ‘Warninks advocat’.

He sat at the table with his flourishing fountain pen and vellum address book. I looked on in fascination as the pile of cards grew enormous.

I was fascinated by some of the names of the recipients. Two sisters were called Aileen and Neelia. I was told that Neelia was given her unusual name by reversing that of her elder sister. Very odd!

Since then I have always reversed names to see if it works and it usually doesn’t!

However, I read recently that some rock star reversed the word ‘heaven’ and called his daughter ‘Nevaeh’ and it’s now the 70th most popular baby name in the US.

Ah well!



Blogger Murph said...

Mr P used to work in a solicitor's office sending out threats of legal action. He was a Warnings Advocate.
I though you got your clothes at Gap for Kids? Zak would really fit in well there - it sounds very young and trendy. Like my brother Zo.

10:12 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Murph: We synchronised again.
Nice one about Mr P - not that I believe a word of it.
Zo and Zak - we could make it big in showbiz with names like that.

10:20 am  
Blogger Geoff said...

Nevaeh! You are 'avin' us on!

I know that Chingford was Norman Tebbit's seat so it must have a minority of really nice people.

1:35 pm  
Anonymous NiC said...

Chingford is just up the road from me in East London Kaz (though Chingford residents like to pretend they're still a part of Essex). I do my weekly big shop in Chingford Sainsbury's.... walking among your relatives without even knowing it!

3:38 pm  
Blogger Z said...

Since I (just about) become Oz, can I join you and Zo in showbiz?

5:11 pm  
Blogger stitchwort said...

Will these names suffer the same fate as Edith, Agatha, Cyril and Norman? i.e become old people's names?
I met a small child called Jane the other day - now there's an unusual name.When did you last meet a Mary or an Elizabeth ?

5:22 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Geoff: I read it in black & white.
I can read it but I can't pronounce it.
My cousin could have voted for Tebbit, I haven't seen her since I was 16 and every year she sends me a letter re the terrible state of the country!

Nic: Well I certainly know that you didn't vote for Norman.
I wouldn't recognise the cousin either - even if bumped into her.

Hello Z: 'Zak, Zo and Z' sounds great - just hope there won't be too many ZZZZZs coming from the audience.

Stitch: Norman again - but not Tebbit I hope.
How about Namron?
My neighbour's daughter is called Calais - I'll let you guess the reason.

5:39 pm  
Blogger Murph said...

Was Calais conceived during the French postal strike by any chance?

There's a young lass called Brittany Ferries along our street.

(Sorry about this Kaz..I just can't stop myself)

6:02 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Murph: Is the punch line 'because they couldn't get a French letter'?
I'm no good at *jokes* ... so I feel quite proud of myself now.

Any time you feel the need - you are welcome here.

6:25 pm  
Blogger Señor Tronosco said...

Warninks advocaat -you too! In my family it was a Christmas tradition to buy a bottle of the alco-custard. Why?

8:07 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Señor: Forgive me - I realise I missed out an a!
Alco - custard. What a great name.
I think they used to give it to the kids so that they would fall asleep and leave the mums and dads to get stuck into the single malt and babycham.

9:30 pm  
Blogger Gary James said...

My dad's only responsibility at Christmas time was to fill the pantry with small bottles of Webster's green lable and two or three snowballs for my gran.
The drink that reminds me most of christmas past is either Harvey's Bristol cream (a drink or a soothing rub, you decide), or Clan Dew whiskey, with the talking stag on the wall.

7:38 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Gary: Ah yes Harvey's Bristol Cream.
My mum had a secret source where she could buy it in bulk at a knock down price.
She used to glug gallons of the stuff in the trifle.
I hold it responsible for the person I am today.

10:11 am  
Blogger DellaB said...

Strangest thing, I stopped sending Christmas Cards about 10 years ago, (when I used to get enough to paper the wall), conscious decision, and every year I would feel about 5 minutes of guilt, which is worth it; slowly the cards have diminished as people I guess got the message, now I am down to about 5 or 6, poor buggers who didn't get it yet...

Seriously though, it's like everything else in life, if you enjoy doing it, go for it - I'll be glad you remembered me - but it's not my thing, and I try to not do the things that make me resentful - I don't shop for Xmas presents either - can't think of anything worse (well, maybe I could if I tried) - than running around in the heat and crowds with a list of people buying things just because. I do birthdays.

7:21 am  

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