As an early Christmas gift mostly for women my age, I am sharing an email I wrote in 2004 that totally improved our holidays. I sent it to Ken’s two children and their mates, to my daughter and her mate, with a copy to Ken. Feel free to borrow it and adapt.
On the subject line, I wrote “the passing of the spatula.”
Then “Dear big children,
Perhaps you have noticed that Ken and I are getting feebler, of mind and body, and crankier. Plus, we are not getting any better at cooking these big holiday dinners. Now, maybe you enjoy eating turkey leather and pumpkin pie soup, and maybe you have not noticed that the stress of cooking the big meal causes us to yap at each other more every year. After all, we’ve been quite discreet with our little disagreements.
But I’m thinking that you can do it better—the cooking, not the yapping. It’s time to pass on the turkey baster to the next generation. Here’s what I propose. You pick the menu and we buy all the ingredients. You decide who does what when. Ken and I will be your assistants. I will do what I do best—clean. Between our duties, a relaxed Ken and I will play with the little children. We may drink champagne and frolic about in the yard, singing “tra-la, tra-la, tra-la.
Let me know what you think. But, remember, it’s too late to back out.
Fondly, Mommy dearest”