Tag Archives: news years

Linda’s Christmas Letter 2020

Linda’s Christmas Letter 2020

1918 December

This letter to Santa was written by Ruby Butler from Perth, Ontario in 1918. Although we are facing a pandemic like they were during that year, we are not facing a war. The armistice of November 11, 1918, brought relief to the whole world and hope to 10-year-old Ruby Butler in Perth. The Spanish flu, however, was a devastating and previously unknown form of influenza, and struck Canada hard between 1918 and 1920. This international pandemic killed approximately 55,000 people in Canada, most of whom were young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. No matter what we are going through, we have all worked together this year, and while we can’t smooth out the surf, we are all learning to ride the waves safely and carefully.

What has not changed is that the children of the world are still writing to Santa amid a world that a lot of them do not understand. Yesterday my daughter in law sent me a photo of my grandchildren and their cousin sitting in front of a window where they could hang out with Santa safely. I looked at Tenley’s eyes and saw the love and belief in her eyes. Santa still exists, and while I am old enough to understand that a man cannot fly around the globe led by reindeer, I still believe in the magic. I love spreading magic because it relives our childhood memories and encourages everyone to have kindness, empathy and generosity in their hearts, especially when we need them most like now.

Like the writer of the 1918 Santa letter who did not want Santa to die I am sure the children of today have had lots of fears that they do not talk about. They probably also silently worry someone they know will contract the disease, but they remain silent. This year I chose not to remain silent. From my kitchen island I decided to spread virtually what I thought would take people’s minds off of things, and the pandemic, and make them smile. The child we once were stays with us, and I for one refuse to let it go.

This year especially; I feel there is a lot we can learn from the children we used to be. That little person still exists; you just need to listen to what he or she has to say. It’s important to learn from experience, to change and become a better person. But, what most people seem to think is in order to do so, we must leave our old selves behind– and that is wrong. The easiest thing in the world was having fun as a child because even the littlest things made us happy. They still can.

If there is one thing you ought to try and hold on to for this year and next year– it’s this: Be happy, have fun with the simplest of things, enjoy life, and find hope in even the most dire circumstances — you’ll find the strength to accomplish things others wouldn’t believe possible.

For a day take a step back and revert to olden days when crazy cartoons and bowls of sugary cereal felt like living the dream. Laugh every day, love yourself like children do, be kind, considerate, and compassionate. Each New Year gives us the perfect chance to start something new and fresh. Just make the world a better place for yourself and others. Make someone happy….

Thank you for reading me this year, I appreciate it, and please stay safe!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Related reading

Linda and Christmas Cards– and the Lack off–This is Your Christmas Letter:) 

Linda and Christmas Cards– and the Lack off–This is Your Christmas Letter:)

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 2018

New Year’s Eve ’68- Thrills and Spills with the High School Golden Boy

New Year’s Eve ’68- Thrills and Spills with the High School Golden Boy


Memories of Au Bon Marche in Sherbrooke - PressReader


Linda circa early 70s  in Sherbrooke, Quebec when she was manager of Le Knack at Au Bon Marche.

I stopped celebrating New Year’s Eve during my seventeenth year on this earth. That year was so traumatic it cured me for life of participating in any future celebrations. Well, maybe I did do a brief stint in my nineteenth year and it was exactly thirty three minute participation and no more than that. That was the actual time it took to jam eleven people into a Mini Austin. It was snowing hard that night and people did need a ride home.

For approximately four years in High School I loved a boy and he was no ordinary boy. He was “The Golden Boy of Cowansville High School”. He was blonde, French Canadian and handsome as all get out. When he smiled, you could see the stars glimmer from his teeth and when he walked down the hall girls melted into puddles. Of course I had no chance of ever snaring this magnificent creature as I was about 102 pounds overweight. I smiled, I curled my hair, I used deodorant and he would never ever look my way. I was so huge he probably thought I was a school corridor column and not the girl that loved him.

At age sixteen I left school, went to Fashion Design School and all thoughts of Golden Boy left my head. I worked part time in a fashion store, lost about a zillion pounds and had the wardrobe any mod in the 60’s would die for. That was probably one reason I lost so much weight. It was either food or clothes and the clothes won out hands down.

So before the year 1968 ended, it found me holding an invite to the coolest New Year’s Eve party around. It was to be held in the basement of an old A & P store in Granby, Quebec and I knew my old school chums would be there. I was so excited to see them and dressed very carefully. I wore a black velvet “Twiggy” mini dress with a front zipper and white collar, black fishnets and patent cuban heel shoes with a big silver buckle on them.

As I walked down the stairs and into the make shift teen club people’s mouths dropped and screamed when they saw me. Taking off my long black Dr. Zhivago style midi coat carefully I slowly walked up to the dance floor in all my glory. I happily danced my feet off to a half dozen Creedence Clearwater songs until I was a sweaty mess. To cool off, I went outside to get air and of course icicles started forming on my hair from the cold frigid air.

I don’t smoke so I tried to lean against the brick wall seductively while the icicles were quickly multiplying in my hair. Maybe this year I could honestly snag a guy to dance with me. I prayed silently, “Just this once God, before I die, let me dance with a real boy.”

Through the haze of cigarette smoke clouds and ice fog I saw a shadow following me. He was tall lean and boy was he blonde. Yes, dear readers it was none other than Golden Boy. Golden Boy in all his glory was approaching me from 30 degrees north.



Illustration from the East Bay Express they did for my story


The icicles in my hair suddenly started to melt and I became tongue tied as he looked at me and then hugged me. I just couldn’t savour this moment I had yearned for as I was too busy worrying if I stunk from perspiration. He spoke in a low sexy voice that made the earth shatter and the heavens suddenly opened. My heart was beating on overdrive and I was about to explode as he said,

“Linda, you look just fabulous!”

Wait, was he talking to someone else? I looked around and saw no one, so yes he was talking to me. More icicles started to melt from my hair as my body overheated. He grabbed my hand and we went inside where we proceeded to slow dance. I could feel his heart beat and we were so close I could smell his Aqua Velva and his Gitanes. We proceeded to dance the rest of the night away and he rode home with me in the bus holding my hand tightly. The heavy snow had turned to a deadly freezing rain but he insisted on walking me home.

We walked up the short path to the handmade death defying wobbling concrete steps that were now a skating rink. He took my head in his hands and kissed me. In fact he kissed me a lot. Yes, he kissed me so much he wanted more.

Instead of being in lust, angry thoughts suddenly flooded my brain of how badly he had treated me in the past. I suddenly started to rage that if I wasn’t 100 pounds thinner he wouldn’t be kissing me right now. In reality I was aiming for the snow bank on the right when I poked him hard,  but instead he fell down the icy concrete steps. Yes, the very same steps I had fallen down years ago and cracked my head open. Golden Boy lay there and was most definitely knocked out. In fact he was knocked out good and cold, like the freezing rain that was coming down quickly.

I called my father to drive him to the hospital. He was fine, except he had one problem. He was having a hard time remembering anything. Everyone blamed the slippery conditions and no one even thought that a former chubby stood up for herself that night. Yes, she had given her all for every other high school or college girl that had loved a Golden Boy once in her life and was treated badly.

So after that I never really celebrated New Year’s Eve again. I decided what happened that night was enough for me. I mean, you only get once chance sometimes in life, and that was it. So now every New Year’s Eve I celebrate with Dick Clark and remember. When I see his name pop up on Classmates.com, I smile. I smile that same sinister smile the night Golden Boy became not so golden and ‘slipped’ down the wobbly concrete stairs. I bet after forty years he isn’’t so golden anymore. Frankly I bet he is a tad tarnished.


This was first published as a prize winner in a competition for the East Bay Express in 2009 and the illustration in the centre is from the East Bay Express.

Memories of that evening