Ho, ho, ho! What card’s in the mail for you this Christmas?

Top of the tree - Dr Poulter's card.

Top of the tree - Dr Poulter's card.

One feature of the festive season for all us political hacks is the collection of Christmas cards we get from MPs and council leaders vying for our attention.

Oh dear! Richard Howitt's card.

Oh dear! Richard Howitt's card.

This year has seen a bumper crop landing on my desk. Some have been taken home to go on my card tree, others have been left on my desk for when I return to work next week!

I hope our Labour MEP Richard Howitt won’t be too offended if I say that his card has been left on my desk a work.

Mr Howitt’s cards have become something of a Christmas legend in our office – he always has a cartoon of himself on the front and a run-down of his work over the last year inside.

This year it has him as “Santa Howitt” having Christmas lunch with his elves trying to ensure that Britain stays in the EU after the referendum.

Christmas cards from politicians

Christmas cards from politicians

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It’s a talking point – but I’m not sure it really adds to the general festivities!

And the fact that it nearly didn’t reach me – it was addressed to a colleague who left the company six years ago –

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At the other end of the scale I’ve had two cards featuring snowy scenes of Westminster from South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter.

In fact Dr Poulter’s card is one of my favourites from anyone this year – I love the naturalistic painting style of artist Richard Harpum even if the chance of seeing snow like that in the south of England over the Christmas period seems very remote!

Ben Gummer’s Christmas Card this year has a very traditional feel with a 16th century painting showing the adoration of the shepherds.

And the card from the leader and chairman of Suffolk County Council features a very attractive scene of Ipswich rooftops with Santa’s sleigh overhead. It is a charity card which raised funds for the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service.

Which brings me to the piece de resistance of my collection this year. It’s the card I’ve had from David and Samantha.

I’m under no illusions. I know it’s mass-produced. I know the signatures are printed. I know there are thousands of them out there.

But I did meet the PM three times this year when he visited the region (and got the obligatory selfie) so despite it being the least seasonal picture of any, it was rather good to receive last week.

Even more so because I seem to be the only person in the building to have got one – my editor seems to have fallen off the Downing Street mailing list this year!

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