SMUG middle-class families can’t ruin this Christmas by popping round, but they can still pen round-robin letters concealed in cards like the IEDs of humblebragging. Follow these tips: 

Write CVs for everyone

Reuben has grade six piano and is a year ahead at school, his sister is incredible with crayons, you were promoted and your partner stumbled across a bold new proof for Fermat’s Last Theorem. And you’re so f**king self-effacing about it, gosh, while enumerating each and every accolade.

Share the minutae

Once you shared a hall of residence with someone. 25 years later, you’re informing them you’ve gone vegan and it’s doing wonders for your wellbeing, sex life and bowels? They didn’t care when you said the exact same shit then. It pisses them right off now.

Share an incomprehensible anecdote

Begin a paragraph with ‘Of couse, you’ll be wondering what happened to Manny’s farm boat’, assuming everyone remembers the riveting saga from last year, then blether on with phrases like ‘historic scheduling fees’ ‘lost his lobster-potting licence’ ‘under maritime law’ and conclude ‘So in the end, we made £700,000.’

Put a positive spin on lockdown

Thousands of lives lost. Economy tanking. Millions facing unemployment, financial Armageddon and a mental health crisis. But sharing how lockdown was a special gift giving you time to discover the wonder of nature could inspire everyone to live a better life isn’t at all crass or self-absorbed.

Sign off with a reminder to ‘be kind’

In case the reader hasn’t got the message yet, you’re a saint. While everyone else muddles along you’re the hero of your own story, spreading light, healing the sick, conquering the moral high ground, leaving a persistent, gnawing sense of discontent in your old friend. Happy Christmas.



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