A Christmas Card

Every year I send out Christmas cards that have an unfortunate family photo on the front and musings of what a wicked year it’s been, on the inside.

Christmas Photo, 2014

Christmas Photo, 2014

I sent this year’s Christmas cards out almost three weeks ago and no one has received them.  Who knows where they have ended up but there were about 100 of them so if the postie could deliver one or two before Christmas Day that would be appreciated.

Archie post-op after wisdom teeth extraction

Archie post-op after wisdom teeth extraction

I thought I’d share with you my Christmas card for 2014.  It starts off with a cover photo of my three children and the dogs that is the worst photo we’ve taken in years.  It was so bad we had to dull down the colours to almost black and white to try and pair-down some of the flaws.  And you probably can’t tell but it was raining during the shoot and the longer it took for some co-operation the heavier it rained.  Once the finished photo was uploaded there was a lot of complaining about why the photographer hadn’t weaved more magic.  Well…the level you co-operate will be matched with the level of photo-shop re-touching.  Hence this image’s natural state.

Alfie in the relay team at the swimming carnival

Alfie in the relay team at the swimming carnival

So here’s the news the news for 2014…

A night out

A night out

Archie went to uni.  Once or twice.  He’s decided to turn his two-year sprint-degree into a four-year marathon.  He was very busy growing facial hair and a moustache that twirls.  His social life is very full and uni work is an annoyance that gets in the way of parties, functions and gatherings.  He went on a bit of a health-kick that involved a lot of mess in the kitchen where he was juicing or doing protein shakes or eating only egg-whites and tuna or managing an alcohol-free day, but, like uni, it was all short-lived.  He worked as a barman at the RSL where one day a very elderly man walked to the bar and stood on the carpet and while ordering a beer, did diarrhoea.  Archie was ordered to clean it up and the tracks that led back to where the man seated himself on an upholstered chair.  That career became as short-lived as his health fads.  He now works at an upmarket hotel in the city where the patrons are continent.

Archie's Titanic 21st

Archie’s Titanic 21st

Last year Arabella studied psychology at Macquarie Uni but decided that wasn’t for her.  This year she studied Commerce at Sydney Uni but decided that wasn’t for her.  Next year she will be studying Arts/Law at Notre Dame and I hope that next year I won’t be telling you she’s studying Engineering at NSW.  She became romantically attached to the idea of solo international travel and so headed off in a most disorganised way to the USA via China.  After three days she phoned saying, ‘I wouldn’t mind a home-cooked meal’ and, ‘I’d love to sleep in my own bed’.  By Day 7 she was in tears and by Day 10 I’d joined her in New York.  We had a fabulous two weeks together with no home-cooked meals, no nights in our own beds and no tears.  Unlike her teenage years she loves spending time with me and comes with me to swim squads and has made me join the gym where we do classes together.  She’s appointed herself my personal stylist and vetoes all clothing purchases.

Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake

Alfie is so thin.  A teacher at his school was so disturbed she asked him if at home he was being given enough to eat.  She also observed that he doesn’t eat his lunch and so has implemented a rule where he starts his lunch break 10 minutes before the bell so he can get a head start on tackling his lunch box.  He loves to run and can run effortlessly.  This year at the school’s Mini-Mos he ran in the 10km race around Mosman with his mother limping behind him and finishing 10-minutes after he did.  A few minutes later he ran in the 5km race and just after that he ran in the 2km event.  In the history of the event he’s the only child to have run in all three races and was given special mention in the school’s assembly.  But no medal.  Once again he’s spent a lot of time in the ‘Planning Room’ where he has to sit and think about his transgressions.  He ‘walked to the oval in an unsafe way’ (leap-frogged over poles) and ‘was out of bounds in the playground’ (in a place where he couldn’t be seen) and other treacherous acts.  If you get sent to the planning room too many times you aren’t allowed to go to the end of year excursion.  When the note came home asking for payment I just threw it in the bin as didn’t want my money to end up being a donation.  But then pressure was applied so I handed in the money and the form.  The very next day I was told Alfie wouldn’t be allowed to attend and no mention of a refund.  He wasn’t allowed to go last year either and I was meant to send him to the planning room for the day but the Lord provided and the night before he fell off the trampoline and broke a tooth sending us off to an emergency dental appointment instead.  It’s a silly excursion anyway as it’s to Chinamans Beach but you’re not allowed to go on the sand or in the water because that’s ‘unsafe’.  They don’t call it the ‘Cotton-Wool Generation’ for nothing.

Worst day of the year - bath day

Worst day of the year – bath day

Despite Drew’s best efforts, Ruby (14) and Rosie (13) live on.  They do have a few issues that some like to focus on but why be negative.  But just so you know, Ruby is deaf, needs two knee-replacements (Drew says she’s not getting them), has dermatitis and queried incontinence (queried because I hide the evidence from Drew).  Rosie is also deaf, has tooth decay, ended up in ICU after eating a chocolate Easter bunny and recently had a urinary tract infection.  The vet says they need salmon for dinner twice a week and Drew says he never gets anything twice a week so why should they.

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

Merry Christmas to all my readers and may you receive all the blessings of the season.


Visiting Santa at the Queen Victoria Building

Christmas at the Queen Victoria Building



  1. Happy holidays to you and your family Charlie! You always make me chuckle about some of the most funny and yet true things that happen in life. I love your style of writing and hope that this note finds you well. Take Care, BAM

  2. That was some year! I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.

  3. Merry Christmas, O Lovely One. What a big year it’s been for you! And I wonder if the mystery of the missing cards will ever be solved? You didn’t by chance ask one of the teenagers to mail them for you, did you? 😉 Have a great festive season! xxx

  4. Oh Charlie I think the word you are looking for is artistic when it comes to your family photo – I thought it was meant to be that way 🙂 As for the RSL story?! OMG my jaw hit the floor – I would have quit on the spot!!! Merry Christmas to you all x

  5. Hmm, seems your postal service is taking after ours! I do hope your cards arrive with everybody soon.
    You certainly have had a full and eventful year Charlie.
    Merry Christmas to you and the family and wishing you all the very best for the near year.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

  6. Haha i love this synopsis of the year! I’m sure 2015 will hold just as many adventures (at least I hope so!)

  7. Merry Christmas Charlie! Loved reading this post. Sums up there year quite nicely. Here’s to a joyous holiday and a magic filled New Year! Cheers!

  8. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Charlie! As always, an entertaining year in your household.

  9. Always fun to get your family updates–and appreciate the accompanying smiles that go with them. Your readers feel like we know your kids, hence it is like reading about our own families as we watch them grow up. Wishing you the happiest and healthiest of holidays, Charlie–and to your family.

  10. Sometimes you just have to laugh at life, Charlie, otherwise you cry, scream and ended up in a padded room. But at least they give you good drugs so that may be a solution after all. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

  11. You are SO good about rolling with the punches! Merry, merry Christmas!!! xoxo

  12. Merry Christmas Charlie, to you and your family. I hope you all have a fun and safe festive season.

  13. Oh, I am surprised that there are any children going on the end of year excursion if those are the sorts of transgressions that Archie is being sent to the Planning Room for – tell Archie I used to get into trouble for similar transgressions – running past the chapel to name one. One school report noted “Rachel should learn to control her voice!”
    A very Merry Christmas to you and your family Charlie and I do admire your Christmas card effort – I gave up year’s ago!

  14. Hands down the absolute best Christmas letter I’ve ever read. I love everything about you and your family! Merry Christmas! xoxo ~ April

  15. Happy Holidays to you Charlie and your beautiful family 🙂 I love reading all about them, especially Alfie’s running! I see marathons and medals galore in his future 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. Happy Christmas to you and yours Charlie. I hope next year is every bit as much fun as this one, but less dramatic.

  17. Oh – and I think that Xmas card photo looks lovely with the faded colours. But how can Australia Post lose 100 of them? That’s quite a significant effort on their part.

  18. Happy Christmas Charlie – I can’t imagine what it must be like having Christmas in the middle of summer, but then I suppose it must be so “normal” for you. Have you ever spent Christmas in the northern hemisphere? I wish I could send some of our snow your way 🙂

  19. I love your yearly wrap-up. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you! XO.

  20. And a Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!!!

  21. Happy Christmas Charlie and thank you for your inspiring and fun posts xoxxo

  22. You are a seriously fabulous Christmas letter writer. 🙂 I have the biggest smile on my face now. Happy Christmas to you!!

  23. Another brilliant card Charlie! What exactly do the kids do on that end of year excursion if they’re not allowed on that terribly dangerous sand?!?

  24. Merry Christmas sweetie! You have had a busy year, haven’t you? It’s lovely that Arabella now acknowledges you in public, although she probably takes your fashion seriously so that she may borrow your couture at a later date. Archie sounds like he’s been having a good year, especially now that he’s figured out that the longer he studies, the longer he gets to stay at home with all the perks. Alfie would probably save you from being reported to Child Services if he didn’t use all his calories up running marathons, but I guess then he’d have more energy to get in trouble at school. Perhaps it’s better that you repress his spirit by not feeding him well after all, unless the puppies are prepared to share their salmon perhaps? Poor Drew, he does sound hard done by doesn’t he indeed. I just might feel sorry for him and the rest of the family if you didn’t have photographic evidence on your blog showing wonderful food, family fun and a household filled with love over and over and over again. Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope next year is as exciting as this year for your gorgeous family and you xox xox

  25. What a great read Charlie. So sorry for Alfie,but that spirit will make him a great success in life. The over kill on safety gives my boy the pip and he is hoping it gets better at an all boys high school next year. He is not allowed to run in the playground can you believe it.

    Here’s to getting more things twice a week.
    Merry Christmas

  26. Oh Charlie, this is brilliant – thanks so much for sharing. I smiled my way through it and it paints a lovely picture of your lovely family, even if there are ‘challenging’ moments. I think the photo on your card is great too – the black and white magic worked!

  27. I don’t know if I was on the list but I didn’t get it. I was hoping to read all about how your year went! But now I can -thanks! 😀

    • You were most certainly on the list, Lorraine. I ordered the cards over two weeks ago. The US company that prints them told me they were printed and sent on December 10 yet not one card has been delivered, not even a couple of cards that were sent to friends in the USA. I’m really annoyed and today I’ll be asking them to reprint and resend them but as it’s Christmas Eve, they will arrive well after Christmas. It’s a disgrace!

  28. I love your Christmas cards. They make me laugh. I hope you all have the most wonderful holiday ever!

  29. Merry Christmas Charlie and thanks for sharing some of your family’s ‘moments’ with us. You not only have a beautiful family, but you look like you have so much fun together! And that is what matters.

  30. Happy Holidays Charlie, love hearing about your family adventures. Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing!

  31. It’s one thing to witness a year’s events and something totally different to see them recalled in a few minutes time. That was some year you all had, Charlie! You came out of it on top and, really, that’s all that matters. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with good health and much happiness in the New Year/

  32. Happy holidays! Have a great one and eat lots of cookies! 🙂

  33. I love your imperfect – perfect photo of your kids! Your card is the best I’ve read yet. Sure hope the cards get delivered as mysterious as they disappeared! Cheers, dear!!

  34. And I wasn’t on the list!
    Fabulous photos!
    Loved them!
    Archie is quite adorable. xx

  35. I have enjoyed reading your blog this year and look forward to more of it in 2015! Honestly the ‘cotton wool generation’ actions of schools etc drive me insane. fancy a beach excursion without at least one sand fight, sunburn, wave dumping, dripping ice creams, burnt feet from hot sand..our poor kids don’t know what they are missing. LOL. cheers x

  36. Well, that is quite the year in review, Charlie! I hope your Christmas was delightful and also that your cards eventually reached their destination. How do 100 cards just disappear? I missed saying Merry Christmas because we had some illness in the family , but I will get a jump start on wishing you a happy new year! I look forward to staying current with you and your wonderful family! ox

  37. Awww 2014 seems like a great eventful year for you Charlie 🙂 I’m glad everyone in your family has been well and safe! Your girls are still so gorgeous even though there are a few issues they’re still so special!

  38. I love the resume of the year. Kids these days are a worry, aren’t they! So entertaining but unfocused. Poor dogs – sometimes I feel like them.

  39. Hilarious as usual, love your posts. Happy New Year looking forward to your escapades and cooking in 2015.

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