... look like they were made by your kids.
A TIGER "FATHER CHRISTMAS" SPECIAL!
We’ve all been there. Christmas is bearing down on us like a huge snarling beast. And, especially if you live in China, the pressure’s on to send your presents if you’ve any hope of them arriving by about February.
You’re on your way to the post office and suddenly you scream: “THE CARDS!!! THE CUTE LITTLE HANDMADE CARDS THAT SHOW OUR DISTANT RELATIVES THE KIDS ARE THINKING OF THEM!!!”
There’s not a child in sight. The unhelpful little buggers are out, probably at school or something. Never fear. Here’s what you do.
1. Go to your kids' art & crafts box. See if they've made any Christmas cards.
2. None? Then see if they've made anything at all. It's possible to convert most things into Christmas cards, just by adding a few appropriate words and names.
|... or be too coherent.|
3. Voila! You're done. Jam it in the appropriate present, post it and flick on the TV. Another year done.
Of course, kids being kids, they might have really left you in the lurch this time. You're going to have to have a craft session of your own.
1. Paper folding.
Take a piece of paper or cardboard. Fold it. Badly.
|In the fashion game I think it's called|
"on the bias".
2. Drawing and writing.
Your choice of colours is important. Anything that's hard to read - like yellow on yellow - is good. Do a drawing. If you draw something that is, say, symmetrical, then rip it up and start again.
3. Writing ugly.
One common pitfall to avoid is that your writing will be too neat. You won't fool anyone. Cousin Tracey in England, or whoever, will open their Christmas gift and immediately get a sour taste in their mouth, a bit like when I opened a book I was given one year which bore the inscription: "To Janet, Hope you enjoy this book." (NB: Watch out for this sort of thing if you buy your presents from second-hand book stores).
There are a few techniques to make sure your writing isn't neat.
|Use your less dexterous hand - right hand|
if you're left-handed, or left hand if you're
|Close your eyes and use your left hand.|
For another method I was inspired by actor Daniel Day Lewis for his unforgettable role in that film ...
|"In The Foot Of The Father"|
4. Using household items to make your job more difficult.
|Perhaps wear a blindfold for a more|
|And bulky ski gloves can make a felt|
pen wonderfully hard to grip.
In fact, you might combine a couple of things from your ski bag ...
5. Writing positions.
As a golfer might change their stance, a card fraudster can experiment with their writing position.
|"Under the table"|
|I call this "The Wild One" - going at it|
backwards like how Jerry Lee Lewis,
coincidentally the father of Daniel
Day, used to play the piano at his
Or, if you have one lying around, use the real thing.
6. Losing track.
Remember, most kids have an attention span only about as long as the average husband's. Don't be afraid to lose track midway through what you're doing.
|"Christmas" is a long word. Some kids will get bored|
halfway through it, or go on a tangent. Perhaps images
might get confsed.
All kids love glitter. Except if his first name's Gary.
|These days it comes ready-made in|
tubes, mixed with a gluey-substance.
Back in my day etc etc ...
|It comes out fairly easily. Start with just a little ...|
|... and then go berserk.|
|By the end it should look like a fairy has|
vomited all over the thing. Stickers also
come in handy. They're everywhere
these days too.
|Again, relevance is optional.|
There are other forms of decoration. Like a gooey wet glitter mess, these should be as impractical as possible.
|Soft things are OK, but will not break, so your relatives|
won't have the chance to feel sorry for your poor little
poppet's ruined efforts, which always helps in a good
These days you can buy all sorts of fancy scissors to put curvy or jagged edges onto things.
|Go at your card with a pair of fancy scissors. Hard!|
Remember, size is irrelevant, as I found last year
with daughter Evie's hand-made paper present
|I thought she was kidding.|
Dads and presents, eh?
|For best results, use two pairs of scissors.|
8. Putting shit all over it.
A child-made card will, in the process of being made, usually end up covered in various inappropriate substances. Perhaps you could even start with a piece of paper which is already sullied.
|This should not include coffee rings.|
They're a dead giveaway.
|Jam is good.|
|Or use boot polish, though this doesn't taste quite as good.|
|Or if this Christmas caps a year when you've been doing|
some social climbing, you might use caviar.
|A few more stick-on eyes for that|
absurd feel, and you're almost done.
|"I can't believe it's not children!"|
So there you have it. Just follow these easy steps and this year "yule" look like the most Christmassy family in your clan!
NEXT WEEK: How to say "Happy New Year" like it really means something.