And I rather like this ritual - it makes a change from all the post being bills or propaganda from my employers.
Sometimes, perhaps, the level of thought that goes into choosing an appropriate card for each recipient might not be as deep as might be.
I have a cousin. I have several, but this concerns just the one. We'll call him Agent X, because he's best kept anonymous. The only contact I have with Agent X, in truth, is this once yearly ritual of exchanging Christmas cards. I chat to his mum occasionally on the phone and hear bits of his news, but that's it.
Agent X is something quite high up in the Royal Navy (you'll immediately notice a gulf beginning to open up between his life and mine). His current job involves something of supposed national import involving her madge , Mrs Windsor. Or "Brenda" as we like to think of her.
As a man of the radical(ish) republican left, I was mildly flummoxed to receive this card from Agent X this year.
It's not a good photo - frankly I couldn't be arsed to spend any time capturing the image for posterity. If you can't work out who it is, you'll be needing to borrow my white cane.
I can cope with religious cards, after all people like a bit of religion at Christmas, but I'm really unsure about political ones. It's likely that Agent X (and, indeed, many others) wouldn't have thought a picture of Brenda and her consort is "political" - but I think it sends out all sorts of (in my case) quite unwelcome messages. You wouldn't send that card to Martin McGuinness, except as a piece of mischief, now would you?
At first I was going to just chuck it in the recycling; I can't imagine displaying the damned thing anywhere. Then I thought to myself........"revenge".
At Millbrooker Towers we make our Christmas cards (I know we didn't last year - we ran out of time after taking an ill-advised early December holiday), so perhaps Agent X should be sent a one-off original.
With plenty of help from Mrs The Millbrooker, the plot was hatched, a suitable subject found and a card designed. It has been printed, written, signed and will be posted today.
I await next years offering from Agent X with bated breath - will this be the start of a humorous war of "worst-possible-cards-for-cousins" (which I'd rather enjoy); will I be struck off the list; will the whole thing simply be ignored and we'll receive something vaguely Baby Jesus-y?
I'll let you know in about twelve months.
In the meantime, should these pages go quiet for weeks on end, it's because Agent X's chums in the special forces have extraordinarily rendered me to Azerbaijan for the type of delicate treatment reserved for dangerous subversives. Or something.