At this time of year, when the print edition of Design Week was still around, I’d often be found rounding up the best and the worst of the Christmas cards on offer. I would have been checking out the goods for personal consumption anyway, so this was the perfect way to kill two partridges with one stone.

But rather than beat around the holly bush over 350 words here, I’ll reveal my chosen designs for 2012 without the sound of drummers drumming or pipers piping. The chosen are from Oxfam, who’ve come up with the ingenious idea of not only recycling paper, but recycling designs too. Taking a dip back into their seasonal archive, they’ve plucked out some old favourites, which they’ve branded ‘vintage’ cards. The two that particularly caught my festive eye were an illustration of the Magi by Douglas Hart from 1972, and a graphic star with some nifty blind embossing by an uncredited designer from 1987. These, we’re informed on the back, have been re-released to celebrate 50 years of Oxfam Christmas cards. Last year alone, Christmas card sales helped the charity raise the equivalent of a two-year programme in Bangladesh, helping over 11,000 people to earn a better living and protect themselves during emergencies. So delete the impersonal e-cards, dust off your old fountain pen, and help Oxfam celebrate half a century of graphics and good works. If you are looking for a seasonal round-up of 2012 Christmas cards, you could try this one from Red magazine. The retro family card from the V&A gets my vote.

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