Our 2015 BFLI Christmas Message


Someone got a computer for her 12th birthday so I suspect we’ll be seeing more of these.

This year has been a wonderful one – there’s simply no other way to look at our family still having my wife to keep us company around the Christmas buffet tomorrow.

Tracey ended up at the hospital again today and we were worried we might have to take the presents in there for the big Christmas morning gift unveiling after all, but it turns out her drains had simply blocked. Even that in itself is wonderful, because the reason they’ve blocked is the output is so minimal. Isn’t that an awesome Christmas gift right there? Tracey needed some plumbing work and now all is sweet for a stupid o’clock wake up from the kids.

I just marched the troops off to their rooms, carrying Miss3 into the double bed she’s sharing with her sister, Miss5. Giggles come easily on Christmas Eve because everyone’s so excited and primed for the next day’s excitement.

“Which side of the bed do you want to sleep on tonight?” I asked Miss3. “This side or that side.”

“The backside!” she shouted.

I can still hear them giggling in there about it.

This year the lead up to the big guy making his deliveries has had some memorable moments, like when I asked Miss12 about her take on Santa. She’s always kept things a little close to her chest, unlike Master10 and Miss8 who both came at me with questions this year because they’d worked ‘it’ out. The truth about Santa, like the truth about sex, is a conversation which I think the kids need to broach with us when they’re ready. As always, the time to tell them the answers is when they’re asking the questions. Although Miss8 is insisting that if she asks me any ‘is Santa real’ related questions again, I’m to lie and say he’s the genuine, sleigh-riding, elf-managing, letter-reading, wish-granting, chimney-climbing article.

Naturally, this doesn’t stop Miss8 winking like a dodgy lightbulb when Santa comes up around her little sisters.

So when Miss12 and I were alone in the car this morning and she started talking about Santa (and essentially the difficulties with the physics and time line of his delivery system) in much the same way a buzzard approaches a wounded cow – by circling lazily, if singularly, around the topic – I decided to do some digging.

“What do you know about Santa?” I asked.

“Well, he’s really old,” she told me, gazing out the window in an effort not to meet my eye. “He’s been around a long time.”

“And what do you make of that?”

“He’s probably too old,” she said.

“Too old for what?” I pressed.

There was a pause while she fixed her attention on an advertisement for a musical on the side of a bus.

“To be delivering the presents to us,” she said finally, her tone giving the impression I’d somehow tricked this information out of her. Then she turned and gave me the most exhausted and yet sarcastic look I’ve ever seen on her. I know it was a mixture of exhaustion and sarcasm because I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen it on Tracey many, many times. “I know ‘the truth’ but I don’t want to talk about it,” my daughter said.

“Okay,” I said.

Then she sighed and went on anyway without being asked. Coincidentally, I’ve also seen her Mum do this.

“I’m not silly, you know,” she continued. “He’d be the oldest person alive by now. I mean, Santa was in the Bible and everything.”

A bit like saying you Captain Picard is your favourite Jedi – both are equally grin worthy.

And don’t we all need that at this time of year? Christmas can of course be an extremely stressful, with some people wanting it to be perfect and some people seemingly wanting to ruin it.

For me, and I’m sure you, being surrounded by people I love is all I really need. That, and maybe some beer.

That last little sentence works best in a  Winnie The Poo voice. Just sayin’.

Sadly, even in our small community, I know of several families who will be having the sort of Christmas I feared, so it’s impossible to be anything other than grateful for how things turned out for us. My thoughts are very much with these families even as we celebrate our own family’s very good fortune.

And I think our kids have learned something as well from all this turmoil, although they all show it in different ways.

“What do you want for Christmas more than anything else?” I asked Miss5 tonight.

“From you?”


“A hug,” she said.

Well, roast my nuts by an open fire and jingle them all the way if that’s not the sweetest Christmas present request ever.

Unlike Master10’s bedside chat.

“You know how I already know one thing I’m getting but you said there’s a couple more things I don’t know about?” he asked me tonight. I nodded. “Well don’t be mad, but if I only get three things I’m going to be really disappointed. Night!”

But then he also sobbed all the way home when we had to leave Tracey at the hospital today for a couple of hours because the last time she went in for a little thing she almost didn’t come back out. Different strokes.

And on that note…

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I truly hope your Christmas feels as miraculous and wonderful as ours. Stay safe, and keep it fun x

The kids got to unwrap presents sent to them from the beautiful staff at the BOQ – this way all their Christmases don’t come at once 😉 Thank you, BOQ x from all of us.

If you enjoyed this post please share, like or comment

“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


  • How wonderful. I can honestly say my heart bursts when I think of everything you’ve all been through, that you’ve kept your sense of humour, provided the kids with such amazing emotional and physical support (your village being so amazing too) and brought out the best in your community. Best of all, TRACEY – YOU LEGEND.
    On a less sentimental note, I now tell my husband that he should be grateful when I fart because you can never take that function for granted haha 😉

    I wish you all the happiest Christmas you’ve ever had, knowing what is really important. Thank you for inspiring me this year and I hope your 2016 is better and better each passing day/week/month.

    • Kez, you beautiful lady. You have a fantastic time and I hope you get a chance to put your feet up and soak it all in. Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine x

  • Merry Christmas Bruce, Tracey, and all the family!
    I am so happy to see you together for such a special time of year.
    Yay science and medicine!

    • I still want to hug the staff at RBWH. So many wonderful people doing amazing things. I heard something about ICU staff when Tracey was in there – they’ll kill her before they let her die. As in, they will just keep going and going at her until her body gives up or she walks out. They’re amazing. I hope what we’ve been through will help another family down the track. But yes, yay science and medicine! Merry Christmas, jen x

  • Merry Christmas to you all!! So glad you’re all together and are sure to have a wonderful day! And of course a marvelous new year to come! Can’t wait to see you all back in our little town!! ?

  • Loved the song and the messages from you and Tracey. Just so beautiful to know your little (big??) family are all together again. Keep those blogs coming, you bring a ray of sunshine into our days. Well, nights for the past few months, I always seem to be checking my emails around midnight when your blog gets sent through!!! Glad to see this one was a little earlier 😉 Merry merry Christmas to you all xx

  • Merry Xmas to you all. The greatest gift is each other (and beer) (and presents) (and someone else doing the cooking and cleaning) so enjoy each and every moment with one another. I look forward to your 2016 (hopefully less stressful) adventures xxxxxxx

  • A giant Happy Christmas to you and your family. Thankyou for sharing your story.. you have made me a more grateful person in 2015…. hugging my family a little tighter xx

  • Merry Christmas to you and your family, Bruce.

    By the way, I only read your blog occasionally but whenever I do I can’t help but admire your writing. You have a great ‘voice’. I’m not sure if you publish other longer written work. If not, you really should.


  • I stumbled upon your blog when Tracey was so gravely ill, when you were fearing the very worst. I am so so happy for you, Tracey and your sweet children that your family is celebrating Christmas together…it will be the first of many many celebrations. Onwards and upwards xxxxxx

  • I have read your blog for quite a while now. As a mum of 3 little ones and a nurse, I have followed it more closely in recent times, and shed tears. I am so happy Tracey is well enough for you all to have this special time of year together. May 2016 bring health, happiness and good fortune for you and your family.

  • Best wishes to you all this festive season!
    So wonderful to see you all together for Christmas – can’t imagine how difficult the last few months have been for you all.

    Regarding the “kids asking if Santa is real or not” issue, my Miss 10 (going on Miss 17 sometimes…!) started asking last year so what follows is what I told her. It may or may not suit others depending on your beliefs but thought I’d share it with you:

    I told her that on Jesus’s birthday, St Nikolaus (who was a bishop) wanted to make sure everyone, especially people who didn’t have much, were able to celebrate and all the children received presents. There’s also a legend that he gave stockings full of gold coins to the children of one family as their parents couldn’t afford to keep them – which is where Christmas stockings came from…

    Anyway, after St Nikolaus died, people wanted to continue the tradition of giving presents to children and giving to the poor etc but it was hard for children to understand why they were getting presents – who they were from – so over time, people came up with the idea of Santa Clause (sounds a lot like Saint Nikolaus) – someone who brought the children presents to celebrate the birth of Christ… And over even more time, bits got added to it (North Pole, elves, reindeer, “be good or you won’t get anything from Santa”, red and white suit – that’s a Coca Cola advertising thing from the early 1900’s… etc)…
    But the main point of Christmas – it’s Jesus’s birthday and we carry on traditions that Jesus started (taking care of people less fortunate, appreciating what we have here and now etc) and St Nikolaus started also (giving gifts and celebrating Jesus’s birthday with family)… They are the most important things…
    She seemed ok with that…

    Wishing you all a very peaceful Christmas and New Year and hoping that you all have many more Christmases together

  • I’m so pleased you were all together for Christmas, such a great outcome after Tracy’s illness. Hap, hap, happy Christmas to you all and best wishes for a bright, healthy new year! xxx

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