15 December 2008

Sir Basil Seal's Answer to the Annoying Holiday Letter

I should think such a response would be most appropriate for holiday letters received from people (1) whom one hasn't heard from in several years and (2) who include a general request for money in order to participate in some week-long missionary enterprise in the Third World.

Dear Friend,

It is that time of year again to share with you our adventures in this journey we call life. 2008 has been another year of magic and wonder…

Hudson almost 3, is quite a talker. She continues to amaze the professors at Oxford with her intuition in foreign languages. It was fun for her to serve as Official Translator for Condoleezza Rice at the Mideast Peace Talks. She intends to spend this Holiday transcribing War and Peace into Arabic and Cantonese and has just had her first novel published.

Baron, now 15, is growing in leaps and bounds. When he got his first set of building blocks he seemed quite interested in large buildings. This year he designed his first skyscraper and ground was broken in Hong Kong for the new “Baron” Towers. It is great to have a budding architect at home as he made a new addition to the house and a wonderful gazebo for our garden. Martha Stewart will be filming her next show here in April, and Oprah will visit and film in May. His finishing second at Augusta and his performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the London Philharmonic at Albert Hall were also exciting parts of the past year.

Countess had a very busy year. In between her work as President of the American Cancer Society and Senior Partner of Goldman Sachs, she introduced a line of children’s novels and hand made active-wear. She remains occupied with the children and has introduced them to Shakespearean acting and is reading the Latin Vulgate aloud with them each night. We are particularly proud of her for reaching the Women’s Singles Final at Wimbledon this year.

Basil was immersed with his Graduate School teaching, and managed to co-author a paper on Multidimensional Customer Attribute Analysis by Conjoint Survey and accept a Nobel Prize for his discoveries in Quantum Physics. Along the way Basil took three startups through their IPO. We are proud of his work serving on the Board of Directors of IBM, Coca-Cola, and Walt Disney, where he was personally responsible for most of the nation’s job cuts this past year and as a personal mentor to Pope Benedict in Rome. Basil was also active with the kids teaching haute école and helping Baron become a scratch golfer. We were able to squeeze a little traveling in this year. We started in London, went to St. Petersburg, Lapland, Denmark, Vienna, the Galapagos, Greenland, Holland, Brazil, where we helped displace an entire Amazonian tribe in order to clear the rain forest for loggers, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, and Pitcairn Island. Our trip sailing our new boat around the world was a great experience for the kids, we learned to herd Dolphins into the Tuna nets, sailed with the whaling fleet, where the kids had great fun in helping the whalers sink several Greenpeace boats, and tagged along on a baby seal hunt and discovered a new region of deep water volcanoes which has been earmarked as a new nuclear test site.

And Weimer, our German shepherd, learned to speak. Latin. Other than that, it was a very quiet year. So from our household to yours, all the Blessings of the Season and may your New Year be prosperous. We found out yesterday that we won the $500 Million Powerball Lottery.

The Countess, Sir Basil and Family