OTTAWA (CP) - The prime minister's tumultuous relationship with the national media is taking on a comic twist this holiday season.

Stephen Harper is inviting members of the parliamentary press gallery to a yuletide reception at his official residence on Monday, Dec. 19. One problem: there is no Monday, Dec. 19 this year. Officials in Harper's office said the erroneous date on the invitation was unintentional. The event at 24 Sussex Drive is actually being held on Tuesday, the 19th.

The holiday get-together comes after a year of less-than-cordial relations between the rookie prime minister and the journalists who cover him full-time.

Harper has suggested publicly that the media are biased against his party, and until last week had not held a news conference in Ottawa since the spring.

A group of parliamentary reporters walked out on a Harper event this spring when the prime minister refused to take questions from them.

Harper will hold news conferences only if his staff can pick which journalists ask questions from a list they compile beforehand.

Like other MPs, the prime minister has also issued a card this year wishing recipients Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Season's Greetings.

The card shows Harper, his wife Laureen, and their children Ben and Rachel sitting in front of the fireplace at 24 Sussex Drive. Other MPs' cards featured winter landscapes, pictures with spouses and children and photos with the family pet.

Former Liberal minister and Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden figured in two of the more unique cards this year.

Inserted in his regular greeting was a mock hockey card carrying his political biography and key priorities from his recent Liberal leadership bid.

Fellow ex-minister Scott Brison recycled a card from 2005 that showed him and Dryden skidding down a pair of pastel-coloured plastic slides.