Corrections to My Christmas Newsletter – The New Yorker

Corrections to My Christmas Newsletter – The New Yorker

Greetings, dear friends!

Hey—there’s snow on the ground already! But the most beautiful thing about this season is the chance to touch base with you, my widely scattered friends! I just hope you’ll still call me your friend after you finish reading this, my 2016 holiday greeting.

My self-esteem had hit rock bottom this time a year ago—which might explain all the misstatements that crept into my last Christmas newsletter. But I am determined to set the record straight now. Here are all my corrections:

1. I only wish I’d been able to organize a coat drive like the one I described in such detail. I think the divorce got in the way of all sorts of activities.

2. O.K., what I should have said was that I plan on being a regular blood donor in the not-too-distant future. Because, really, when they finally hit on a less barbaric method for extracting blood, I’m there!

3. I am not nor have I ever been so much as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, never mind an “unpaid consultant.”

4. When I stated that “my big new passion is the saxophone,” I’m afraid I may have given some people the impression that I had been playing one.

5. While it may have been a stretch to say that I’d volunteered to tutor young readers at the local elementary school, I did once volunteer to give just such a volunteer a ride to the school. Twice, actually.

6. Yes, I did quit drinking cold turkey. But it was not, in fact, owing to the strength of my will power alone. The police-monitored attendance at the twelve-step meetings deserved much more credit.

7. I confess that it was misleading to say I’d donated my Volvo to the deaf. But, see, after the mechanic fixed the clutch—just like that!—it ran too well to suddenly surrender it to some charity. But it’s probably only a matter of months until the out-of-control lurching returns, and then it goes right to those less fortunate.

8. While I am a potential organ donor—you can check my driver’s license—I was getting a little ahead of myself when I implied that any kidney of mine had already saved a life.

9. I honestly did see a little terrier of some kind fall through the ice into a lake. But, in hindsight, I might have been glossing over the facts when I said that I’d rescued it.

10. I guess I was bending the truth when I wrote about devoting myself to looking after my elderly mother and enjoying hunting only in my spare time. The reality is that I enjoy hunting first and foremost. But, of course, every now and then—time and weather permitting—I don’t hesitate to pop down to the basement and look in on ol’ Mom.

11. Unfortunately, I was not able to honor my dying father’s request to have his ashes scattered over Loon Lake, where he fished all his life. That’s a two-hour drive in the best of times! But, boy, did I ever come up with a unique Plan B, involving an unlocked minnow tank at his favorite live-bait establishment.

12. Loath as I am to confess it, I did not exactly take all that time off “to mourn my favorite uncle.” But I did paint my new rec room, and I think Uncle Lyle would have appreciated that, for sure.

I admit, dear friends, that I feel better now. It’s nice knowing that this year’s holiday greeting is really worth the paper it’s printed on—which the old me would have said was one hundred per cent recycled, but I guess I’ve learned my lesson.

So best wishes to one and all in the New Year!

Sincerely, Bill

P.S.: I know I started out all excited about the snow. Truth is, we don’t actually have any quite yet. But ’tis the season, right? And they say we could be in for a real dusting next week!

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/12/12/corrections-to-my-christmas-newsletter

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