A nine-year-old coerced into writing thank you letters to relatives after Christmas, finds tact a problem.
Dear Aunt Maude,
I hope you had a lovely Christmas. Thank you for the present. Socks were just what I needed (Mom says), and such an unusual pattern. None of the other ten pairs I received had vermillion and yellow stripes. Dad says if I wear them to the school disco, they won’t need the flashing lights.
We had a wonderful dinner. Our Colin said that because he was a teenager now, he should have a chance to carve the turkey, so Dad let him try.
Colin’s stitches come out next week.
Dear Aunt Betty,
I have to thank you for the lovely Christmas present. How clever to think of handkerchiefs. No one else thought of that. Not bright purple ones, anyway.
We had a hectic Christmas day. Our John got up early (half past four) and tried out his new stereo full blast. Timmy, our cat, had a fit and went tearing all over the house. Dad jumped out of bed, tripped over the cat, and almost fell downstairs. Sprained his wrist.
I’m pleased to tell you that the cat was unharmed.
Dear Aunt Jane,
I’m writing to thank you for the woollen socks you sent me. Mom says you will have knit them yourself. She suggests I lay them away in case I ever get to size eleven shoes.
I enjoyed Christmas dinner, except the pudding mom made was funny. She said she couldn’t understand why it was so chewy and lumpy. Dad joked that now he knew where his missing golf balls had gone, and then added insult to injury by telling her to keep it because he might be able to mend punctures with it.
She’s still not speaking to him.
Dear Aunt Brenda,
I am writing my ‘thank you’ letters with this lovely pen you sent me for Christmas. It is a beautiful writer and I---
I am continuing this in pencil, and it just sums up the chaos of this Christmas.
None of the crackers would bang. The holly behind the wall lights caught fire. The telly broke down in the middle of ‘Frozen.’ Then the baby got into my new paint box and ate most of the watercolours. The doctor told Mom not to worry he’d be all right but to expect some highly colourful diapers.
Dear Aunt Ruth,
Thank you for the woolly hat you sent me. What a good idea for this time of year. Your letter said you hoped it would keep my ears warm. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that it does, and my neck. Dad says it would make a good chair cover, but he’s always joking like that.
I hope you enjoyed your trip. Something to do with cookery, wasn’t it? I heard Mom say that you were away with the mixer.
Your two brothers, Uncle Joe and Uncle Fred called just as dinner was cleared up. They seemed very, very, happy that it was Christmas. Although Mom said they were drunk and kept shaking her head at them and saying ‘Tut’ whenever they said something funny or rude. They made me laugh, anyway. Mom tried to get me to go out to play. But my uncles kept pushing money into my hands and I didn’t want to leave. I could have made a fortune. But they both fell asleep on the sofa even though I kept shaking them. They only woke up after I’d gone to bed.
To all: Your loving nephew