Evidence that not all Santa's gifts are welcome
Thank you so much for the early Christmas present. Although a body covered in hives wasn't top of my wish list and neither did it substitute for the Sean Bean duvet cover I asked for, it made for an original gift.
You delivered the rash on 7 December, completely unexpectedly, and I'm still not sure of the cause. I can't say it was a particularly welcome gift. On the other hand, it did last an entire week, unlike most boxes of Milk Tray or bottles of pink gin would have.
Also, it was one of those gifts that just keeps surprising its recipient. One minute it was mild and pink, like a pair of soft ladies' pyjamas, say, and the next, it was furious and festering, like the inside of a volcano. But who wants Christmas gifts with only one facet to them?
It being an early gift, I hope you don't mind that I hid it from the general public as far as I could. When it crept up to my neck, for example, I swathed myself in a scarf I could have wrapped around the whole earth. When it stole down my arms and arrived on the back of my hands, I kept my hands in my pockets, although that made Christmas shopping difficult as no shopkeeper likes customers selecting items with their teeth.
When the hives leapt up my face and landed on my forehead in large red weals, I stayed in the house in case people called the fire brigade or insisted I carry a bell around with me.
How thoughtful of you, too, to include with the hives a free accessory - the itch of all itches. This was the gift that, literally, kept on giving. What generosity! Some days I thought it had offered all it had and was receding, but, no, BOOM! off it went again.
Santa, I'm writing now to ask for something different next year. Although the gift of sudden and ferocious hives was certainly a surprise and offered experiences new to me, I really would prefer a change for Christmas 2020. Here are some ideas, in case you're struggling and tempted to send me an episode of gout or an intestinal disorder:
1. The Sean Bean duvet cover already mentioned.
2. A cookbook called 'Diet Pies'
3. A self-help book 'The Slothful Millionaire'
4. Kate Winslet's genes
5. Sean Bean pillowcases (see above)
6. Sean Bean in person.
I suspect that requests like Number 6 in my list are the kind of high expectations that make you want to send people virulent rashes, if not boils, carbuncles and other evil lesions.
But, just in case, I thought I'd whack it in there.