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Christmas News Letters Example 07

We go to a lecture by Mr. Science.

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From me:

01 A practical joke
02 My grandparents die
03 English Tour
04 Barn swallows
05 Buying hubcaps
06 Group photos
07 Mr. Science
08 Backpacking, Middle English
09 Leukemia
10 Comfort Clothes
11 Marmots and Texas
12 Eagle, Turkey and Emu
12 Accident and Hike

From Alert Readers:
01 In the Foothills
02 Excess
03 Things unsaid
04 11 Kids
05 Multiple Choice
06 . . . bit my ear
07 Facts and Stats
08 Neiheisel Review
09 Family and Horses
10 Sing a Song
11 The Professional
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Erma Bombeck & Martha Stewart
Around the World
Coping with DUI
Defining Pretentious
The 12 McQ's

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Misc. Essays

The biggest news from us this year is that we've moved [new address omitted . . . ]

Speaking of addresses, my Aunt had an idea I have found enormously useful; she uses a 3x5 card file instead of an address book. Cards are easy to update when people move, plus you have room on each person's card their birthday, all the children's names, grade in school, their telephone number at home and work, car phone, fax phone, and so forth.

News about the kids: In January I took them to a lecture and demonstration by a fellow who gives workshops about getting children interested in science. His main point was what he called "dissonant" events. This means first capturing kids' attention by demonstrating something that reacts differently than they expect, then getting into theory. Flames and loud noises help too. He started the lecture by asking what we thought was in the balloons tethered to the demonstration table. "Helium", everyone shouted.

"Let's see", he said, lighting a candle taped to the end of a ten foot pole. The first two were filled with hydrogen, the third with acetylene. He went from there to giant bubbles (one part Dawn soap, two parts glycerin, three parts water) to a tin can bazooka that fired a nerf ball into the 12th row, using methyl alcohol.

Every once in a while I try to describe one of the kids in four words, along the lines of haiku. Margaret is "Lace skirt, skinned knees". Kenneth has passed beyond "Round head, no neck", to something I haven't gotten down in four words.

He is interested in trucks, which will be nice when his speech improves. Right now he has command of six or seven consonants, with the D/G, T/C and H/K substitution problems most children his age have. He has an additional one - his initial "tr" sounds like "f", so when he says he sees a "dump truck" you have to know what he is trying to say. As a side note, our sister-in-law says the ability to make the truck noise is a sex-linked genetic instinct; all small boys have it.

Last summer Heather broke her arm while riding. She didn't fall off her horse, she quickly told everyone who asked about the cast; it took a jump the wrong way and she fell forward, striking her wrist against the back of the horse's neck. Taken together the two girls have now equaled what I did by the time I was in first grade - one broken arm and two cuts that required stitches - although it took them fourteen kid-years do it. I was afraid we were being too protective of them.

Heather's Girl scout troop went camping several times this year; our most successful trip was to the fringes of the Carson-Iceberg wilderness area. We hiked three miles into the area to a lake, had a fire building contest (five out of nine of them started a camp fire with one match) and fished in the Clark fork of the Stanislaus River without hurting any trout. I went from the camping trip to a week- long class in San Francisco, where I wore the same sweater. If there's a garment more comforting, and more evocative, than a brown wool sweater smelling faintly of wood smoke, I haven't come across it.

The Girl Scouts are extraordinarily protective; you cannot take a troop swimming unless you have a life guard along. Last summer I thought I could make up for ten years of sloth by swimming a couple of laps a night for a week or so, read through the book briefly, pass the life guard course handily and take the troop swimming.

This proved to be optimistic on my part; I failed the brick test (tread water for 60 second while holding a ten-pound brick over your head) by seven seconds, the six minute test (swim 100 yards, flip a "victim" onto his back, tread water while giving two rescue breaths, tow victim 100 yards, two more breaths, lift the victim out with cross-arm lift) by two minutes, and the written tests (YMCA short answer and Red Cross multiple-choice) by one question and three questions respectively. It was the first course I'd failed since I took Attic Greek as a sophomore at Cal. I spent the rest of the summer doing laps and am now enrolled in the autumn course.

This is one page of over four dozen devoted to Christmas news letters. The main Christmas News Letters page has links to more examples, plus some general guidelines and specific suggestions for writing Christmas news letters. If you have an example, either good or bad, that you'd like to share with the rest of the world, send it to me and I'll add it to these pages.

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This page updated: June 21, 2014