108. Christmas Letter 1963

The world is divided into two kinds of folks: those who love to receive Christmas newsletters from their friends and family, and those who don’t.  Me, I’m definitely among the former.  If you ever sent me one, I guarantee I not only read it, but I may have saved it.  It helped me know more about what was happening to you.

During the years from 1957 to 1965, we sent out “newsletters” as Christmas cards because we couldn’t afford to buy the “real” ones.  Even after we didn’t need to though, we kept sending out our homemade versions.

Everybody always assumed I was the author of the cards, but all I did was the clerical work.  My husband Gene wrote the “script” and did the art work and got the kids to contribute theirs.  With affection and humor, it was his way of telling the world about his family, as well as expressing good wishes for the holiday.

This was a rough draft of our  family Christmas letter from 1963 — 47 years ago. I re-typed it today.  The original is missing but it had included Gene’s cartoon drawings of everybody. I’ll insert photos instead because the only kind of cards I can draw is at the bridge table.

All the news that’s fit to print

Judy Ford, two and a half years old, alias “The Grub”, has been indicted on a charge of conspiracy and subversion by the Roto-Rooters of America. The plumbers allege they have suffered extreme mental cruelty and undue hardship in their attempts to extract hankies, socks, carrot sticks, stuffed toys, erasers, underpants, apples, and rulers from the bathroom plumbing. She is considered dangerous.

On December 5, 1963 at 3:45 P.M., Mrs. Gene Ford, 32, also known as Gwendolyn Patricia Ford, also known as Mommy, was accosted by a rude policeman on 15th Avenue East in Seattle. The officer proceeded to force upon the gracious and public-spirited Mrs. Ford, a ticket for JAYWALKING.  Jaywalking is considered a crime against society. Out on bail, Mrs. Ford’s comments reflect her usual grace and composure.  “I was framed”, she screamed.

The Gene Ford family was recently credited with raising children who are politically astute at an early age.  Noteworthy is the analytical skill of Terry Ford, 4.  At dinner, Miss Ford was asked to choose which part of the bird she wanted.  Asking for a wing, she  stood up on the chair to indicate which one.  “That’s the Right Wing”, she announced.


In a recent interview, Lisa Ford, age 8, Chairman of the League of Women Skaters, revealed that her group has resolved to take prompt action against the boys. “When us girls skate, er ride bikes, er jump rope, the boys bug us”, she asserts. Miss Ford announced that the League has formed a coalition with the scooter and wagon drivers, and they will present a proposal for re-districting the sidewalk for fairer representation of all the parties. The proposal is now being studied by the Rules Committee of the House. A well-known local politician, Miss Ford’s other activities include Brownie work and cookie-baking.


The editors, after a recent tour of the bedroom of Mark, 11,  and Matthew, 9,  have launched a campaign to eliminate tennis shoes from the American scene. They suggest that such shoes be gathered up and sent at government expense to Red China, in an all-out attempt to wage gas warfare.


A warning has been issued from the stockroom at 916  20th Ave East, that if the person or persons unknown do not desist in removing the labels from the canned goods, that serious consequences will follow.  The menu next week may include sauerkraut upside-down cake, beets ala mode, baked asparagus pudding, and applesauce soup.


A reward of a free pair of shoes (matching in size but not in color or style) has been offered any person, regardless of race or creed, who can trace missing shoes at 916 20th Avenue East.  Write today for complete rules.  Winners will be disqualified if they match up a bedroom slipper or Zori with a saddle shoe.  However, a lone oxford could be mated to a lone patrol boot since they are in current demand.  Horseshoes will not be considered under any circumstances.

At the request of city officials, the arts and crafts activities of Gretchen Ford, 5, have been restricted to the first floor of her residence.The fire department charges that the 16 barrels of paper per annum used in coloring, painting, cutting, and tracing, constitutes a public fire hazard.  Springing to her defense, her parents stated, “We should have known she was on the road to addiction”, they said.  “We should have heeded the handwriting on the walls”.

Susy Ford, age 6, noted literary figure, aroused considerable controversy earlier this year, with an after dinner speech entitled “Reading in Bed By Flashlight”.  It was later learned that the authorities promptly confiscated all unauthorized batteries, night lights, candles and kerosene lamps. Miss Ford and her associates have been ordered to appear before a Seattle optometrist for investigation.



Mark Ford, 11, a mad scientist, reports that if certain girls do not heed KEEP OUT signs on his laboratory, that he intends to detonate a nuclear bomb during their next tea party. “Now I’m really mad”, said the mad scientist.

Appearing in his ninth straight year of performances, touted comedian and punster, Matt Ford, 9, continues to wow the crowds at Club 916. “Wow”, says the proprietor.  “How’s come this clown never cleans up his room?”


Nominees For Reward Remain Modest

According to a recent A & P report, the editors of the FORDLETTER, Gene & Pat Ford, have been nominated for a Pulverizer Prize for their courageous hard-hitting coverage of the news and war against crime.  “We never use our fists”, comment this hard-hitting husband and wife team.

Gene Ford, 36, the Plumber’s Friend, reports that he has developed a revolutionary new cigarette which will help the public quit smoking.  In an exclusive interview, Ford disclosed that the proposed cigarette will be identical in appearance to ordinary cigarettes, but that it will be blended of two parts tobacco and one part dynamite.

Happy Christmas, everybody.

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3 Responses to 108. Christmas Letter 1963

  1. Elizabeth says:

    This is so funny! I love it. And now we all know about your criminal past, you jaywalker!

  2. Linda Lewis says:

    I, too, love family new letters at Christmas! My favorite was from a friend I met skiing at Sun Valley when we were single. She had six kids and has Gene’s sense of humor. I think that must be a requirement with raising a loving clan!
    The shoes part were the best: HELP STAMP OUT TENNIS SHOES
    The editors, after a recent tour of the bedroom of Mark, 11, and Matthew, 9, have launched a campaign to eliminate tennis shoes from the American scene. They suggest that such shoes be gathered up and sent at government expense to Red China, in an all-out attempt to wage gas warfare.

  3. Gretchen Covey says:

    Dad was so clever! It’s fun to hear about our personalities and adventures when we were young! You and dad are excellent readers and writers…. a trait that continues to be fostered in the family. Thank you!

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