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Thanks, but ... 

Dear Bob,
I can't thank you enough for the inspirational bookmark. I don't know what we enjoyed more, the gift or your family's annual newsletter. Is Suzy the first child to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for a science fair project? Josh's experiment won a grant for our whole county, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Dear Uncle Louie,
Margaret and I were shocked at your gift this Christmas. How did you get all those bills so neatly stacked? I hope you know we expected nothing from you when we talked to those detectives. After all, you're family. And you're armed. Remember, even if we're not home, you're welcome to use the wooded ravine behind our house. We hope you're enjoying your trip. Switzerland, the Caymans, and Colombia, wow! Maybe we can all come along when the kids are older.

Dear Sis,
You should have seen Josh's his face when he unwrapped his new stationary. I'm sure it will be just as big a hit as last year's present, Emily Post's Book of Etiquette for Young People. You'll be happy to know he now eats with utensils!

Dear Joe and Sue,
Have you ever had a friendship grow so quickly it caught you by surprise? It was just after Thanksgiving when we met in line at Food Lion and exchanged numbers. We never guessed we'd see you at our door late Christmas Eve with presents for all! I'd have come down sooner, but I was in the attic hunting for anything we could slap a ribbon on. We hope you enjoy your tiki statue as much as we're enjoying our cashmere bathrobes. Let's get together for dinner sometime!

Dear Ted,
Before this Christmas I have to admit I never gave a thought to the Emu or what might be done to save it. But since you made a generous contribution in my name to Friends of the Emu, I've learned so much! Did you know that Emus have three toes and can run up to 50 kilometers an hour? Did you know that contributions to Friends of the Emu are nonrefundable? Did you know that for the same money you could buy a really cool DVD player? I'm lucky you're my brother. And the Emus are lucky you're their friend.

Dear Paul and Pam,
Aren't you the romantics? Candles, bubble bath, massage oil, edible underwear; shame on you! Of course, Josh likes strawberry anything, so I'm afraid we won't be using the panties. But we're looking forward to trying the rest of it; looks like we've got a good weekend in October. I can't wait.

Dear Aunt Lois,
We must thank you for the unique present you sent. I'd love to hear the story behind this gift. Where did you find it? How did you choose the color? What is it called? What's it supposed to do exactly? How do I get it off? We must talk soon! Love, David

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