In pictures: Political leaders’ Christmas cards

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WITH the big day approaching we’ve put together a slide show of some festive greetings from our political leaders.

First Minister Alex Salmond revealed his Christmas card with much fanfare earlier this month, it features a less than festive design by Dame Elizabeth Blackwell. But there is a tie in for the floral painting by the Scottish artist. Mr Salmond said: “Throughout 2013 we will celebrate the outstanding and diverse beauty of this country in the Year of Natural Scotland, where we encourage people to get out and enjoy what the great outdoors has to offer.

President Obama's official Christmas card for 2012

President Obama's official Christmas card for 2012

“It is therefore fitting that my official Christmas card this year will feature a painting by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder whose work is well known for its celebration of nature through its flower and plant motifs.”

Prime Minister David Cameron went for a rousing picture that ticks all the boxes for 2012. He and Samantha feature with Olympic torch bearer and war hero Kate Nesbitt on the PM’s Christmas card, which also includes children and Union flags. David Cameron personally signed all of his cards, and tweeted a picture to prove it.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg chose A seasonal collage by eight-year-old Caitlin Costello for his Christmas Card this year, a very festive choice for the Lib Dem leader, who described Christmas with the Cleggs as “non-stop excitement and last-minute preparation”.

The designer of the official card is an eight-year-old patient at Sheffield’s children’s hospital in Clegg’s constituency. Clegg’s wife, Miriam González Durántez, is a patron of the hospital charity.

Labour leader Ed Miliband chose a photograph of the Miliband family at their north London home for his official Christmas card. The happy family picture of Ed and Justine with their children Daniel and Sam is not the most Christmassy picture, but it is a sweet and happy family portrait with a simple message of “Merry Christmas” inside.

Michael Moore ran a competition in his Borders constituency to find a picture for his Christmas card for 2012. The Scottish secretary plumped for a picture of penguins in the snow by Millie Thomson of Fountainhall Primary. Michael Moore said: “I received so many fantastic entries to the Christmas card competition from schools across the Borders so it was very difficult deciding on a winner.”

Barack Obama chose a picture of “The First Dog” to adorn his Christmas card this year. In the past the Obamas have gone for family portraits, but this year it’s a painting of the Obamas’ pet dog Bo in a snowy scene on the White House lawn. Larassa Kabel an Iowa-based artist beat out competition from around the USA with her painting of Bo frolicking in the snow.