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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Gonna sit right down and write my Christmas letter

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I just tried to write our annual Christmas letter. I know that people who are supposedly humorous writers should be able to get all the news of the year on one page in such a manner that people would actually want to read it. I have been inspired by many of the letters we have already received. They had pizzazz but still gave information that is needed to keep friends and family up to date.

One of my favorite, all-time letters came from the cat of one of my nieces. The cat told about the members of her family with criticisms for the absences they had away from her domain. She even explained her own needs in reference to the family's activities that lessened her comfort.

Since I am a cat lover and we now have a cat controlling our lives, I thought about imitating Donna's masterpiece. But I was sure that all my large family members would also remember that timeless letter and be surprised that I hadn't come up with something new.

One year when I wasn't working outside the home (in other words, for pay) I created a massive crossword puzzle that contained the family news along with our greetings.

I love to work crossword puzzles, and I do create some at times, but I am just too busy to do something like that this year. Besides I got several complaints that year that they couldn't figure out the words since I hadn't also sent along the answer sheet.

Some of the letters we have received in the past had so much detail in them about family members we didn't know or hadn't ever heard about that it was tedious to read them. I would never do something like that. I only mentioned 26 family members by name in my letter and then referred to 36 others. I can't help it if I have a large family and Lester's is not small either. I can't leave anyone out.

I only mentioned one of our cats. I didn't talk about Timmi or Mama Kitty. They are the outside cats who won't notice that they weren't mentioned. I should have included Daisy in with mentions of my son's family in Texas because it seems likely that this might be the last Christmas for this lovable terrier who was dumped in their lawn more than 10 years ago. She bonded with our daughter-in-law Joan so closely that she really is a granddog to us and has spent many Christmases as our houseguest. Her health is deteriorating too much for her to make the trip this year.

Some of the letters we receive are travelogues of all the places visited during the year. I could have talked about our numerous trips to Joplin or Kansas City to see doctors. I could even mention going out of state to Kansas for a certain specialist. Fort Scott is interesting enough to write about, but most of my family have already been through there.

It didn't seem appropriate in this season of peace to talk about the election outcome even though it had occupied much of our thoughts throughout the year. Not all of my friends or even some of my family members share my insights into world or national situations. So I left out that part of our year's history.

There wasn't a whole lot more I could do to make this year's letter memorable. I finally decided to put in just the facts, Ma'am. I wouldn't want to create envy among my friends and loved ones.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year anyway.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus