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Shire Yule  by Dreamflower

 Summary: Aunt Dora writes a letter filled with Good Advice to her niece Daisy…


5 Foreyule, S.R. 1401

My Dear Daisy,

I am sorry to have to Decline your Invitation to spend Yule with you. But Frodo kindly asked if I would like to accompany him to Buckland this year. As I have not gone there since before Frodo came to live at Bag End, I feel that it is my Responsibility to do so this year. The poor dear still Feels Keenly Bilbo’s leaving, and I think it my Duty to give him my company on the Journey. And I will be a Steadying Influence for him, among all those Brandybucks!

I look forward, as well, to a Visit with Menegilda. As you know, her Health is not what it used to be, and she does not travel outside of Buckland any longer.

As to your Queries about your other guests, it would be most Improper of you to leave Cousin Blanco off the List. He should be invited. While it would be most Awkward, as he has yet to Forgive young Folco’s thoughtless words, he would be Offended even further not to be asked. Trust that he will Decline the Invitation--his Affliction has made him very self-conscious, and he rarely accepts any Invitations these days, but it will Mollify him to be asked. The last time I spoke to his daughter Ivy, she said he had even given up Trying to find a Potion that would Grow Hair.

You may also feel safe in inviting Togo and Betony Banks. I know that they have already Received and Accepted Invitations to the Great Smials this year. This will give them the Satisfaction of having an Excuse to turn you down, and you may feel that you have done your Duty in asking them. While I know that Togo was secretly amused at Folco’s Indiscretion at their wedding, Cousin Betony took it Greatly to Heart, and was very embarrassed.

Of course, she had only herself to Blame--putting the Dessert before the Main Course is never Wise--and the Early Arrival of little Tolo would have Alerted anyone who was not already quite Aware of the Situation. After all, little Folco had no idea he was saying anything wrong. He never does.

Speaking of Folco, I am Very Pleased to hear of his progress with his flute lessons. I knew the lad would have Talent, as you May Remember that I told you, and you may tell him from me that Aunt Dora is very Proud of him. I do hope that the Bolgers will be in Attendance at your Yule celebration. Little Fredegar is a Steadying Influence on Folco; between his Vigilance, and Folco’s flute, perhaps your son will be able to Refrain from saying anything terribly Insulting or Outrageous this year. I am enclosing two silver pence with this letter; please give them to him as his Yule gift from me, along with a Kiss and a Hug from his fond Aunt Dora.

I hope that you are not Indulging yourself in the latest Fashionable Taste for Purple this year. It is not an Attractive Color for most, and it certainly would not flatter you. You will be far Better Served with a serviceable dark green gown. I also hope that you are being Reasonable in the matter of your Neckline. Remember that you are a Baggins, and Not a Took! I was most Appalled during my last visit to the Great Smials to see what sorts of things Lalia was allowing the lasses to wear there. Even some of the matrons were displaying far more Bosom than is Proper!

Finally, while it was Very Good of you and Griffo to bring your father to the Yale to live with you, please do not allow him to Run you Ragged. I am Dudo’s sister, and I tell you that if you Indulge him, he will play up his Poor Health for all it is worth. Be very brisk and Matter of Fact with him, and do not wait on him Hand and Foot. I tell you this for Your Own Good.

I shall miss seeing you this year, but as I said, I think Frodo Needs me more. I Wish you all the Best for the Festive Season. Happy New Year, my dear.

Affectionately Yours,

Aunt Dora

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