The Christmas card players

For some it's a chance to show off the family. Others just want to quote the Bible. You can tell a lot about a public figure by their choice of seasonal greetings. Andy McSmith reads between the lines
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Mike Huckabee

The former Governor of Arkansas is the man with the biggest momentum in the race to be the Republican candidate in next year's US presidential election. Perhaps the oddest thing about this extremely strange Christmas card featuring Mike and Janet Huckabee and their children is the matching uniforms father and sons in hideous blue striped shirts, mother and daughter in garish red tops.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

To cover a Christmas tree with family photographs is odd. To then photograph the tree and send it out as a Christmas card is downright weird. But Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, the NBC newscaster Maria Shriver, obviously thought it was a great idea.

Ian Brady

Here is a card from someone you might not want to remember at Christmas. Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, has been locked up for 42 years, most of them in mental institutions, for a series of sadistic killings. Even other murderers are said to shun any contact with him and he has no known friends. But he has some 'pen pals' who have been sent this card, produced as a fundraiser for the Dogs' Trust.

Gordon Brown

His predecessor went in for family photographs but Gordon Brown has reputedly sworn that he will never feature images of his two young sons on his Christmas cards. Instead, he is sending out this drawing of lively children encircling a Christmas tree. It was designed by the children's author and artist, Shirley Hughes, and promotes the work of Booktrust, acharity that encourages children to read.

Elizabeth Taylor

On the inside of the card from the film star, who is 75 years old, still working and in love with a businessman she met in Hawaii last year who may become husband number nine there is a message: "Wishing you all the joy and magic of the season". If you think that sounds dull, just look at the outside.

David Cameron

The Conservative leader chose this drawing by 11-year-old Bethany Brown, which shows a giant Father Christmas booming out "Ho! Ho! Ho!". He is pictured looking down at Bethany's school, St John's Church, and the town hall in her home town of Carterton, in Mr Cameron's Witney constituency. It also shows a military plane from nearby RAF Brize Norton spelling out "Merry Christmas" in a vapour trail.

President George Bush

Mr Bush and his wife Laura's card contains a reading from the Old Testament: "You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you."

Paris Hilton

The mega-rich heiress appears to have put all her troubles behind when she posed for this demure picture of herself in gorgeous red in front of a huge, gaudily decorated Christmas tree, holding Tinkerbell, her pet Chihuahua, who must have just loved being dressed in that seasonal outfit.

Ian McCartney

Why, you might well ask, would anybody want to inflict an image like this on their friends? It is Ian McCartney, the former chairman of the Labour Party, pointing out to Indian children that his front teeth are missing. "All I want for Christmas" etc, etc, runs the caption. Then you get to the political bit: "But of course the children of India need so much more" so the McCartneys are donating money to charity instead of giving presents.

Vince Cable

The former acting leader of the Lib Dems was spotted hurrying through Westminster with a bag of teddy bears embossed with the Commons logo. They were for children in his constituency who had taken part in an annual competition to design his Christmas card for him. Jemima Witts' design, right, was the winner.