WHILST. I didn't take up the
pen to complain about Paula Davies' chit chat on "chars" (November 8), I was delighted to see that Mrs. Butler of Poole did (December 2), and no doubt she spoke for many of us. It is all too often because these two-income families push up the price that mothers of families in time of sickness etc. are unable to obtain help at anything like the price they can afford, except for some dedicated types, and 1 count myself privileged to have met more than one of these in times of distress.
However, it is her article this week that has very nearly put me in the "Disgusted" class with a threat to stop the paper all together. We can read, hear and watch plenty of this intellectual cynicism and if your paper has space to spare I'd rather have a page less. But to be fair to any secular publication I have rarely seen a more unkind or offensive Article or a more vulgar heading. I fail to see what interest it is to the rest of your readers how one family behaves. At all events I am sure Paula Davies' family must now be in no doubt where NOT to spend their Christmas. Not to be able to enter into the spirit of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child is to most people surely a great emptiness.
Winifred White (Mrs.) Morden, Surrey.
MRS. BUTLER, do you have
to take Paula Davies so seriously (December 2)—even the Catholic Herald can afford a little light relief. Olga Hearn (Mrs.) London, N.W.5. IAGREE with the critic of Miss Paula Davies (December 2) that her insufferable attitudes to life are getting more than a little difficult to stomach. Her _latest article on "Liking or lumping it with the in-laws" (December 2) typifies the present generation's pompous manner of decrying "oldfashioned" ways or ideas as to how one should behave. If we daughters and daughters-in-law all behaved as Miss Paula Davies it would be a sham Christmas indeed!
You are either part of your family or not, and if you consider its members merely as a tiresome animal encumberance to be "endured" or "tolerated" in case feelings are hurt, then Christmas—with its emphasis on goodwill—has no meaning, since it is essentially a time of "togetherness", or, to phrase it more aptly for Miss Davies, a "putting up with one another."
That a Catholic could write about a "ritual purgatory" in entertaining one's own flesh and blood shows that the real self-centred person in this delicate affair of hospitality is surely her own ("look how beneficient I am!") self. No wonder her relatives are so vague as to whether they will spend the festive season as "guests" of the "mistress of the house."
As for carefree bachelors, protected in serene isolation from the shrieks of childish delight at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning, I more than suspect that their "beauty sleep" would be sacrificed any day for the joy of hearing "happy Christmas, Daddy."
Mary Roche (Another reasonably young thing) Highgate, N.6