There is one tradition you don’t mess with in the family I grew up in during the holidays – “The Christmas Letter”. Each year ever since my sisters and I could form letters on paper we had to write a letter. We wrote through our teens and twenties and even when we all got married and formed our own families my mom would call to say to us…”I need your letter.” We dutifully engaged in this activity. Sometimes words came easily, sometimes forced. We occasionally heard from friends of the family how much they look forward to receiving the Lasher Letter. I had a chance to look through the old letters that had my handwriting and bad spelling. So many of the letters were so simple, pure and to the point. Something like this:

Dear Friends,

I am eight years old now. I like to play soccer. I like to ski in the winter. Our family went sailing in Canada last summer. It was fun. I enjoy camp and won an award for the best stroker in canoeing. I’m learning how to waterski on one ski.  I am grateful for my family. I wish you joy. 

From, Jenny 

Dear BYH Friends,To celebrate the innocence and simplicity of my earlier letters I am writing to you in such form. 

I am forty seven years old now. I like writing you letters. I am grateful for the uplifting and caring commUNITY. I love yoga. It works. I’m learning to be steady and easeful during uncertain and shaky times. I went to India this past year. It was fun. I discovered essence. I love teaching youth yoga and mindfulness. I am stretching myself in new ways.  I wish you compassion. I love you.