Do you send out a newsletter with your christmas card to friends and family? We have a couple of times but we dropped it as it seemed to give a rather false impression of our modest lives. It rather sounded like we were bragging about our lives. I save that for my blog. I don't care for it all in real life.
Mother forwarded to me two newsletters she had received with christmas cards. One was from a cousin and Mother had annointed, no, that is not the right word, annoted? Anatoned. Still not right, but you know what I mean. Yes, comments scrawled in the margins. Ok, the cousin's children are absolutely high achievers and extremely successful, thankfully none are property developers, but more academic types.
Ah yes, the cousin has travelled the world in the last year, first class of course. The actual cousin, her husband's mother died a couple of weeks ago.
At 93, she is the last of my mother's aunts and uncles to die. She was the baby of thirteen children and married well and was very comfortably off. In a teetotal non gambling family, she was a rebel, and stayed up late playing cards while smoking and drinking. Yet once she married, she became very proper, albeit quite controlling. I think it is fair to say she bullied my grandmother, her sister. It was probably never said but it could have been, 'Moo, how did you let your daughter marry a someone who does not go to church, drinks beer and is only a builder?' What was said was 'Moo, your place is looking shabby. You really ought to spend some money and brighten it up'. 'Bertie, you really should give Moo some money to get some new clothes. She was wearing that coat the last time we called'. 'Moo, I much prefer sugar lumps for my tea. Is that so hard?' 'Bertie, please guide our Studebaker reversing out into North Road. We don't want a scrape from the gatepost like you did to your Zephre'.
Auntie Marj used to take my Mother to the pictures and Mother remembers her quite favourably, in spite of Auntie Marj grabbing stuff from my late grandmother's house that she thought should have been hers.
Another cousin phoned Mother to tell her about the death of Auntie Marj and offered to pick up Mother and take her to the funeral. Mother said to them that she did not feel well enough to go to the funeral. I told Mother she should. Mother took what I said on board, but it ended up being a killer hot day, so Mother did not go. It is perhaps the first significant funeral Mother has missed, but I don't blame her. She is 78 and her first and second husbands have died. Her best friend died. Her best friend's husband has died. All her older rels have died. As hard work as Mother can be for us children at times, her grand children show her the utmost respect and kindness. I am not sure about the impression I have given you of my mother over many posts, but should you meet her in a casual manner, you would like her.
The second newsletter. Mother asked if I could print them and send them to Sister. Mother in an accompanying letter questioned whether these looked like brag letters. I gave it some consideration, an I agree with her. They were bragging.
The second newsletter was from her bridesmaid, who married a C of E minister who went on to be an Archbishop in the north of Australia. Funnily, I once mentioned him to our ex NT policeman and politician friend, and he knew him.
'I knew him. Couldn't stand the prick', was the reply. 'Err, you don't need to think about that then?' Political differences, I suspect.
I suppose you can write a christmas newsletter without it sounding boastful, but I think it is quite difficult.