Friday, December 14, 2018

The Christmas Letter

We've been down this road before, and it might be my toughest task of the holiday season.  It's a yearly thing that I write about here.  My college friend now living in California always sends me a Christmas card.  Inside is one of those family newsletters and a photo.  Many people hate those things.  I don't.  Seriously.  I love hearing what old friends are doing.

Here is the challenge.  My friend leads a fantastic life-- great family, great job, great vacations.  It's always a struggle to craft a response.  Submitted for your approval is the first draft.

Dear Sue:

Thank you for the card, letter and photo.  I can't believe it's been 35 years since we graduated from college.  I took a long walk around the campus in the spring.  While much if it has changed physically, the memories are still there and still very much alive.

I enjoyed hearing of the adventures of you and your family.  You guys get around quite a bit, and I envy that.

There are a few things new on my end.  I found a web site that has fantastic quality ties at a reasonable price.  I have a new favorite blanket.  I helped nurse a kitten found in our driveway, apparently mauled by a dog, back to health and she's quite the active little critter.

We installed a new phone system at work and my blog celebrated its 14th anniversary last month.

I haven't used a sick day in two years.

I've been increasing the distance of my bike rides, setting a record of 31.3 miles, on a humid summer morning.  I surprised myself with that one.

My camera still gives me great joy, but our weather this year has been awful-- very rainy.  That severely cut back on photographic expeditions.

The major purchase of the year was a new chair for my computer desk at home.  I even assembled it myself.

I reconnected with a few old friends, and it's been wonderful.  One relationship in particular has brought me more joy than anyone could imagine.

I hope the holiday season and 2019 bring you exceptional joy, health and happiness.

Your friend in Pennsylvania,