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Xaviera's Christmas Letter
by Brenda Kern 
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Throughout the ages (I could never resist beginning an essay or term paper with that!) a tradition has flourished--that of the 'Christmas letter.' Most of them are filled with little family information, and keep friends and assorted loved ones up on what's happening (especially if the author is not a faithful correspondent during the year).

Though I consider myself a quasi-faithful writer, the idea of writing a 'Christmas letter,' in that time-honored and much-cherished manner, has taken hold. As the head of my household, what's to stop me? A household beneath the head (and brains in that head) would help. A letter only about me would be oh-so-dreary (let's be blunt--BORING CITY), that I decided to whip up my very own ideal family unit to write about.

First, let me introduce you to my 2.8 children (little Hortence, poor thing, is not 'all there.' No one is quite sure where the other .2 is, "The Twilight Zone" is the best guess anyone has hazarded yet.) Heavens, I digress. My eldest, Rupert, is a real charmer. At seven years old he is quite precocious. Why, only last week he uttered his first sentence: "I doesn't wanna stop punching Hortence." He is only slightly knock-kneed now, since his 11th operation, which was this year. His legs don't have that "braided look" anymore.

Next comes my little sports enthusiast, Gertrude, who, though she's only five, is already attracting a good bit of attention. The world records people contacted me in the spring to find out how I happen to have the world's first purple child. She does have quite a few bruises, I suppose. She just can't quite get it into her mind that in baseball the batter must face the pitcher, not the catcher. She insists the catcher is making faces (and obscene hand gestures) at her behind her back. She fails to realize, of course, that there are 9-11 players on the field who really are making faces at her. At the beginning of the football season she made quite a splash by scoring a 99-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. By the end of that game she was terribly tuckered out because the other team just kept handing her the ball, as they had the first time, and pointing the way, taking the ball away from her at the last minute. Her own team unfairly blamed her for their humiliating loss (77-0) and didn't let her play anymore.

That brings me to Hortence. Her face is a little flat, and maybe her brains are a bit squished. As an infant, I put a darling little bonnet on her, and this year, at age three, someone pointed out that I had put it on backwards--every day for three years, think of that. She had a tendency to lean to the left when she walked, and, to save medical expenses, I simply made her a charm bracelet for her right hand, with a bowling ball as one of the charms. It has worked like a charm! Still I love her very much.

I continue to work at the "Joy and Delight Funeral Parlor" and love the job quite a bit. I'm just dying to get to work each evening.

Now that you are acquainted (or reacquainted) with the children, let me fill you in on the year. In January the mailman slipped on the ice on the front lawn and sued for millions--silly me, I forgot to disconnect the sprinkler system for the winter.

In February I won the lottery, and the mailman lawsuit was quickly settled out of court. Easy come, easy go.

March was quite interesting. Rupert's kite became entangled in an electric wire, and when he tried to retrieve it, he instead decided to show his previously unknown skill as...a dancer. (I still think that was a mighty peculiar time and place to choose, and some of the steps looked simply spastic to me. Ah, modern dance!) An agent just happened to be passing by, and immediately hired him as one of the new "Solid Aluminum Junior Dancers." It was quite a disappointment to us all that he seemed unable to repeat his performance on the stage later. The attention he received from the agent, however, up on the wire that day, really made Rupert glow with pride.

April was the month we heard from Guinness about Gertrude, and when Hortence began her musical training. She taps her bowling ball on the ground, and has become quite adept at playing little tunes with it.

May and June moved us on into summer, and poor Rupert again began the season with an awful sunburn. The neighbor's boy, Sam, (what a boring name!) matched his feat of last year, though, and even charged admission and made a little show of it. He somehow manages to peel Rupert's entire body in one piece!

July saw Hortence learning a valuable lesson--never eat a pack of firecrackers once they've been lit. I couldn't have taught it to her any more clearly than her experience did. The dentist says she'll only have to wait until she's about 13 to have her first pair of dentures!

August passed, and finally September allowed me to again enroll the children in a new school. They are simply too bright to stay in one environment for long! All their teachers agree with me.

Halloween came and went, and I do count my blessings on that holiday! Many mothers complain that it's too expensive to buy masks and costumes for their children, but mine are just fine as they are! And, as an added bonus, Hortence doesn't even need to worry about getting cavities!

Thanksgiving was just marvelous, and I certainly am becoming a much better cook over the years, if I do say so myself. This year the turkey was so tender I only needed a chain saw to carve it--no flame-thrower like last year! I think the secret must be cooking it a little longer than necessary. (I think that next year I'll even cook it two full hours after I take it from the freezer, not just one).

As you can see, though we do have our ups and down, we continue as a happy little family. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and keep in touch.

Xaviera, Rupert, Gertrude, and Hortence

P.S. Dear Friends,

I am so sorry this is so late in reaching you--a Christmas letter being mailed in February, how awful! The explanation is this. Shortly after I completed the letter, Gertrude learned the alphabet, and, when I wasn't looking, rearranged the entire house alphabetically! The letter was listed under "Xaviera's Christmas Letter" because she had nothing else to put under X--finding no x-rays or xylophones in the house! And today I finally reached that late point in the alphabet in reorganizing things, and discovered this manuscript. Ah, such is life!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Coldiron 11 Feb 2015
Priceless! It might inspire me to put out a Christmas letter!
Connie Cook 03 Oct 2011
Matthew Prihoda 21 Jan 2011
Not as funny as you think, I fear. I would say choose a different area of humor to poke fun at. And for some reason, I don't feel that you carry it off as well as you could. You have a great sense of humor, but it seems a bit sophomoric or juvenile. Tighten this up a bit. Better yet, poke this same style of fun at something other than children, and you have potential here.
Brenda Gates 12 Jan 2010
Reading this was the perfect ending to a pretty good day. Now just have to quit my snorting, chuckling and grinning long enough to get to sleep.
Birdie Courtright 13 Dec 2006
This is priceless! I'm still laughing! Love the part about Halloween--too cute!
Jesus Puppy  12 Dec 2006
This has been a most delightful read. And as soon as my sides stop hurting I will read it again. Such vivid imagery in show the life of your so precious family. I remind me greatly of the time my brothers all joned to get to play foot ball at my sister's house. Not have a ball didnt bother us none as our new niece was just the right size and shape. Ah the memories it bring to mind. :)
Lynda Lee Schab  12 Dec 2006
First, where are all the comments? This was hilarious! And second, Brenda, you know I'm a big fan...this one does not disappoint. Your wacky sense of humor and wonderful, creative writing is right up my alley. Loved, loved, loved it. Too fun!
Kathie Thomas 12 Dec 2006
Well, looks like I'll have to revisit my family newsletter - they read totally booooorrrrring (snore) after reading this! What a fun household you must have! Great read.
Debbie OConnor 12 Dec 2006
Snort...chuckle...gasp. This was a blast to read. Thanks! :)
Amy Michelle Wiley  12 Dec 2006
Hehehehe, too funny! Do you really mail these out? How fun!
Sara Harricharan  12 Dec 2006
ROTFL! This was hilarious! I totally enjoyed reading this, way good job. :) Awesome writing!


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