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Christmas News Letters Example 12

An Eagle, a Turkey and an Emu

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From me:

01 A practical joke
02 My grandparents die
03 English Tour
04 Barn swallows
05 Buying hubcaps
06 Group photos
07 Mr. Science
08 Backpacking, Middle English
09 Leukemia
10 Comfort Clothes
11 Marmots and Texas
12 Eagle, Turkey and Emu
12 Accident and Hike

From Alert Readers:
01 In the Foothills
02 Excess
03 Things unsaid
04 11 Kids
05 Multiple Choice
06 . . . bit my ear
07 Facts and Stats
08 Neiheisel Review
09 Family and Horses
10 Sing a Song
11 The Professional
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2009 Collection
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2011 Collection

Erma Bombeck & Martha Stewart
Around the World
Coping with DUI
Defining Pretentious
The 12 McQ's

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Misc. Essays

This year I read over some of the old annual missives to make sure I wasn't repeating any jokes. Many of them had a paragraph on the best bird sighted and the best book read for the year, a pattern I stopped using when Kenneth got sick. He's better and we saw a good bird this year. Kenneth, his friend Michael and I were driving to Oakdale. I saw two little birds harassing a big one. From a distance it looked like two sparrows going after a hawk, the way they do when one gets too close to their nest. As we got closer I saw the two smaller birds were red-tailed hawks. The big one was a golden eagle with a six-foot wing span. We pulled over to watch it hunt. It would ignore the hawks, dive into a stretch of pasture, eight or ten rabbits would scatter in all directions, quite literally running for their lives, and the eagle would pull itself into the air again, with long, slow, immensely powerful strokes. It stooped five times, all unsuccessful, while we watched. The other notable birds this year were an emu and a turkey.

My company moved us programmers to new digs, a doublewide mobile across the street from the county animal shelter. This being California and Stanislaus being an agricultural county, they get more than stray dogs and cats. At the moment (early December) there is an emu in their pasture, along with the usual goats and burros.

Our trailer is nicer than it sounds. I share it with four others. It is the first time I've had an office all to my self, as opposed to a cubicle. On rainy afternoons, with a piano sonata on the CD player, a mug of tea and a good problem to solve, it is a warm and cozy place. That doesn't stop the programmers from corporate headquarters from making jokes about trailer life. They have suggested redbone hounds, washing machine bodies, pickup trucks up on blocks, brand new satellite dishes and pink flamingos for yard accessories.

The turkey was a 25-pounder I barbecued for Thanksgiving. We had 32 people, two of them vegetarians, and ended up with just enough left over for six sandwiches. Our kids don't notice anything unusual about barbecuing on the patio in shirtsleeves on the last weekend in November, since they've never been east of the Sierra Nevada in any season but summer.

Kenneth [height, weight, grade omitted for privacy] learned to ride a two-wheeler early this year. He and I have been reading the "Chronicles of Narnia". On the health front, he has been off chemotherapy for eighteen months now. In July he had his final spinal tap. There's an old joke about a man who is nervous at the dentist's office. Dentist gives him a shot of whiskey. Man is still nervous. Dentist gives him another shot. Dentist says "How do you feel now?" Man says "I'd like to see anyone try to mess with my teeth now!" The tranquilizers they gave Kenneth for his spinal tap last year had the same effect - loosened his inhibitions. One of the nurses there is from South East Asia. She speaks three languages and is qualified in two medical systems, but she only weighs 90 pounds. Trying to do the procedure while Kenneth was awake and objecting made for quite a struggle. When he got up to 80 pounds they switched to plan "B" and had an anesthesiologist knock him out for ten minutes.

He also got his first real birthday party. While he was on chemotherapy, and for six months afterwards, he wasn't supposed to mix with other children for fear of catching something. He's over that now. The party featured a cake decorated by the birthday boy himself, using a pound of gummi worms and more frosting than I would have used.

Margaret [height, weight, grade] continues to cheer for the local Junior Varsity Pop Warner football team. At times, when they are going through an elaborate routine and no one in the stands is paying them the slightest bit of attention, I think it is a good warm-up for being a parent. She does horse stuff in 4-H, too. This year they put cute little antlers on their bridles, wore red and white striped leggings and rode in the Turlock Christmas parade as equestrian elves.

Heather asked me not to write about her. I'll put in a joke instead. How many teen-agers does it take to change a light bulb? One. She holds the bulb while the world turns around her.

We all went to Oregon this summer. We proved pretty conclusively that if one person's idea of a vacation was to be up at 6:00 and on the road at 6:15 with a granola bar and a cup of gas station coffee, so as not to waste a single precious moment of free time, while the other's idea of a vacation was to sleep until 9:00 and have a leisurely breakfast sitting down in a restaurant, so as to actually get some rest, compromises were in order. We reached several. I bought a stack of detective novels and watched a lot of sunrises, and Linda didn't hit me in the head with anything heavy.

This is one page of over four dozen devoted to Christmas news letters. The main Christmas News Letters page has links to more examples, plus some general guidelines and specific suggestions for writing Christmas news letters. If you have an example, either good or bad, that you'd like to share with the rest of the world, send it to me and I'll add it to these pages.

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This page updated: June 21, 2014