With a finger always firmly on the pulse of popular concern and perhaps - the cynical might be inclined to say - an eye just as firmly on the potential market returns, the Threadbone Corporation has always prided itself on its ability to gauge the public mood.
Sources close to the Great Heaving conglomerate say that executives have become increasingly aware of the fact that for many this year, Christmas will be more of a chore and a bore than a "season to be jolly". "Any uplift that comes from being able to exclude the in-laws from domestic gatherings [who after all includes them in their designer bubbles?] is more than offset", says relationship expert Di Vorcée "by the fact that there is shopping to be done, Verwood Viands Venison Burger Steaks and mechanically-recovered meat based non-vegan faux-Sprouts to be sourced and microwaved and - of course - the dreaded Christmas cards to be written and sent". The bane of any year, these expensive and annoying items [which always run out just as an unexpected and must-be-reciprocated card arrives from a family member or loved one] are frequently voted No 1 Christmas pain-in-the-a**e" just ahead of playing charades with "the family's self-appointed comedian", re-runs of 1970s Corscombe and Sage Christmas Specials and worming the dog.
Spotting an opportunity, The Threadbone Corporation's Seasonal Greetings Advanced Research Division has turned its attention to the most annoying of these problems and has pioneered the concept of Ready-to-Send Pre-written Digi-cards. Available in virtual packs of 5, 10, 15 and 20, these pop--in-your-outbox virtual cards require only the addition of a personal name to go alongside that of Christmas Greeting co-signatory, Mrs Amanda J Threadbone who has kindly consented to give lustre to the project by adding her own personal imprimatur.
Project director, E Carde, says that an already brilliant idea was transformed when Mrs Threadbone agreed that she would be the joint signatory on every card purchased. "We believe that this generous gesture will not only give the cards a prestige appeal but hugely increase the general enthusiasm for them, as ordinary folk seize the opportunity to associate themselves with the iconic Great Heaving entrepreneur and to bask in her reflected glory. To think that a small downpayment secures for your family and friends a Happy Christmas from Mrs Threadbone is beyond amazing. We expect very strong sales especially as the non-printable, electronic-delivery-only digi-card comes on premium high quality 50gm digi-stock".
Threadbone Ready-to-Send Pre-written Digi-cards can be purchased now from the Corporation's Pre-written Digi-card Seasonal Greetings Portal [http://www.getmeoffthechristmashook.co.uk] prices start at £18 per "pack" of 5. You must have access to a computer and be over 8 years old [no age checks]. Like the cards themselves, all monies are non-returnable