Last week I participated in a Christmas card Kris Kringle. We each had a card, each wrote on our card, all put our cards in a pile, and then each took a card. We were asked to write a poem, a story, something like that, and I wrote this:
"It is not polite to type a Christmas card," Christina Stead wrote in a Christmas card to the poet Rosemary Dobson and her husband Alec - she was typing - and three months later she was dead at the age of eighty, "the same age as her father," notes her biographer, Hazel Rowley. "This is the happy season," Stead wrote, "the days of celebration, love, closeness, friendship." Just before this part of the card she described the room into which she was planning to move a few weeks later: there was an en suite but the bricks were damp and the walls was being repainted. The room was in a friend's house. Stead's money was running low, she couldn't afford to keep the accommodation she was living in. At the end of March this friend, whose name was Heather Stewart, bought an Easter egg for her while she lay in hospital; she never lived to see it.