Literary Hook: The laughter and joy of Christmas letters

Christine Swanberg

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

The Christmas season brings joy and laughter. Sometimes those newsy Christmas letters bring more laughter than joy.

Cleo Johnson is retired and enjoys writing fiction. Each year, she looks forward to getting the traditional family Christmas letters and has decided to create a few of her own about fictional families, which are sent to other fictional families. This is one of them.

Merry Christmas to all

Hi Everybody,

My, what a busy year we have had. I hardly have time to get everything done. I had to let my hairstylist and nail designers go. They kept coming 2 minutes late. However, I now have replacements who are good at their craft and come on time but barely speak English. Woe is me.

Frederick accomplished a lot this year. He has been quite busy opening up our new cosmetic retail stores in Cambodia, Africa, and Peru. I asked him, “Why don’t you hire more people to take some of the pressure off?” But, no, he said he couldn’t find reliable people to work these days.

Freddie Jr., as I’m sure you know, has just passed the bar. We are so proud of him. He finished his law degree in just 10 years after fulfilling his traveling education in Eastern Europe and Tasmania. He is now ready to join the prestigious law firm of Graft and Greed. He will start out with a meager $200,000 per year, but Mr. Greed, Frederick’s second cousin, will give him a raise as soon as he proves his value. It might take a month or so. I asked Frederic: “Why don’t we lend Freddie our condo just off Central Park? We seldom have time to use it now, as we prefer spending your precious weekends off in the south of France.” Our villa in Nice is so peaceful and private.

Our daughter, Monica Kennedy Delaney, finished her first social season in Vienna, Austria, last May. She met a charming Duke there, second cousin to the King of England, who was positively enamored by her beauty and sophistication. It wasn’t long before he popped the question, and Monica has chosen June of this coming year, 2013, to be his bride.

Our yacht is in dry dock. We are having the dining room remodeled to resemble the art found in the dining room of Queen Margaret’s personal yacht. Ugly dining rooms are so tiresome. I am missing the lovely cruise we usually spend on our yacht each fall.

As for me, I have completed my 22nd year as the coordinator of the renowned Spring London Flower Show. I am getting weary of it, but have decided to accept the responsibility for one more year so there is time to find a suitable replacement and I will have time to train her properly.

I am hoping all of you have had as good a year as we have. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Truly Yours,

Helena Rommey von Strogonoff, wife of Frederick Von Strogonoff, the Sixth.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.

From the Dec. 12-18, 2012, issue

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