To our Friends, our Family, and people who read stranger’s Christmas letters,

First, I need to address the elephant in the room. Yes, it’s true, we failed to send out a Christmas letter in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Technically, we did send one in 2011, but that was in January. This should explain the mysterious emptiness that you have felt at Christmastime over the past 4 years. We are deeply sorry for any pain we have caused you. We just couldn’t be bothered.

The truth is, with the increasing popularity of facebook, Christmas letters hardly feel relevant anymore. We’ve already spent a whole year carefully crafting a façade of success and happiness for all of you to ‘like’. What is left then for the Christmas letter? We decided to go ahead anyway, to give a more honest update about who we are and what we’re doing, Don’t worry though, we’ll omit anything that satisfies the criteria for a mental health disorder. We won’t be that honest.

The BoysFirst, we should introduce you to Benjamin (3). Benjamin is a lovely boy. His enthusiasm to say the nightly prayer is so reliable that on one of the rare
nights someone else was given the opportunity, he effected his protest with a hefty kick to his father’s groin a few seconds after the prayer had started. Ben is also getting into the Christmas spirit more eagerly than anyone, choosing at this time of year to injure his family almost exclusively with Christmas ornaments and decorations. A block of silver letters spelling out the word “Peace” is his favourite weapon for ironically attacking his brothers. He does a pretty good butt-shaking dance though, which makes us all laugh and laugh and forget to discipline him.

Next up is Owen (6). If Owen was a superhero, his special power would be a complete lack of impulse control. This gives Owen the power to emotionally drain anyone within screaming or crying distance. Also, he refuses to wear normal shoes. He has spent the entire year attending school in what can best be described as grandpa slippers. Just to prove that our concerns for his feet were unmerited, he went ahead and came third in cross-country for his year level, wearing said slippers. We have surrendered to his logic, and next year will try and find him some wooden clogs and hope for an even better result.

Jackson (8) discovered books this year, so we haven’t seen much of him. He will occasionally pop into the kitchen and ask for a plain tortilla.

Tiff and Sam in Tasmania
Although it had been made abundantly clear to him by a long succession of primary and high school teachers, Sam learned yet again that he does not work well with others, and so quit his permanent job and started private practice counselling full time. His business name is My Life Reconnected, which narrowly edged out his other ideas, “The Freak Fixer” and “Pimp My Self-Esteem”.

We’re all incredibly relieved that Tiffany is still here to take care of us.

After years of vague responses and empty promises, we have finally almost definitely decided on a time to move back to the US. Our 3 year plan to stay in Australia went so well that it became a 6 ½ year plan, but chances are good that this time next year we’ll be forgetting to write a Christmas letter in Utah, where Tiff’s family is. We’re excited for the big change, but also very sad about leaving all of our Australian friends and family. That said, we won’t miss the noisy birds.

Anyway, love to you all, and have a merry Christmas and a fantastic new year!