IS THIS a record? Our first Christmas card arrived four days ago – “to beat the postal strike” said our thoughtful relative. Oh really? And there was I, Scrooge-like and increasingly crabby – as Ian will testify – secretly hoping that the stoppage might go on long enough to give me an excuse not to have to send any cards at all this year. How mean is that? A couple of years ago in a rare burst of creativity and maternal pride, I made my own from a drawing of Mary and Joseph and the donkey done by Morag at nursery, and which I’d treasured for all those years. I thought she’d be delighted that, albeit 30 years on, I’d given her a discreet credit on the inside cover: “Painting by Morag.” Gosh, I was a proud mum. But she wasn’t impressed. “You could have mentioned I was three at the time,” she said in her 35th year. Oh well, I tried.