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‘The Christmas Letter’

Posted: December 12, 2013 10:18 a.m.
Updated: December 13, 2013 5:00 a.m.

It’s that time of year again, when “The Christmas Letter” arrives from friends.

You know -- the one you get from people who used to live in Camden but moved away, or cousins whom you haven’t seen in a few years, or old friends from college.

It doesn’t matter who writes them; they all read about the same. Something like this:

Dear friends:

It’s been another terrific year here at the Williams household. Walter’s been promoted to CEO of his company and got a huge raise last year in addition to the unlimited use of houses in Vail, Tuscany and New Zealand. The private jet really makes it easy for us to get to all those places, though it’s difficult to find time what with the invitation to the White House and the special audience we had with the Pope.

Even as busy as he is, Walter’s golf game is great and he’s been invited to play in the Masters next year as an amateur.

Francis is keeping busy with the many social engagements on our calendar. She’s really enjoying her sailing and has been invited to crew aboard one of the boats in next year’s Americas Cup competition. She was really surprised when that little children’s book she wrote zoomed to the top of the best-seller lists earlier this year, and she’s been busy with book signings from coast to coast.

And that spread in “Architectural Digest” -- it really took a lot of time for Francis to get the house ready for that, though we were flattered they wanted to publish it.

She was also featured in the local newspaper for her sub-three hour marathon in New York and for her many efforts on behalf of the homeless. Somehow she found time this year to get her pilot’s license and lead a successful expedition to the summit of Mount Everest.

You’ll probably remember that Frank, our oldest, graduated from Harvard year before last -- magna cum laude and first in his class, we’re proud to note -- and started a six-figure job right out of school. After four promotions in less than a year on Wall Street, he felt he needed to “give something back” to society, and he’s in the midst of a year-long sabbatical in Timbuktu, where he lives in a mud hut and devotes 20 hours a day to helping the suffering masses.

He recently was named “Mother Teresa Volunteer of the Year” for the entire world, and as part of his work in Timbuktu he’s learned to do brain surgery and also recently discovered what scientists believe will be a cure for diabetes. While on Wall Street, he had been dating one of Sam Walton’s granddaughters and they’ll probably be getting married when he returns.

Susie is now in her senior year of high school and is happy over her perfect score on the SAT. Many different universities are recruiting her but she’s smitten with Yale, and they have offered her a full scholarship; in an unprecedented move, she’s already won a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study once she’s finished Yale -- the first high-school student ever to be so honored. She enjoyed her basketball this year and was honored to be named a high-school All-American.

Susie served as special pastor at our church during youth week. She’ll also be on the cover of People Magazine next week as “America’s Ideal Teen,” so be sure to watch for it.

Oh, well, that’s about it for this year. Have a nice Christmas, and I’ll be sure to drop you a line next year to let you know what’s going on in the Williams household.

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