LIKE PHIL FITZPATRICK, I reckon that many of us have had a gutful in 2013 of the stories of atrocities, witch killings, brutality against women and children, rampant corruption and greed topped off with a good old bout of religious fascism.
I remember the opening words of one of Dad's sermons when I was a kid. "Some pastors may preach to you about original sin. But today I want to talk about original goodness." That's always stuck with me.
As George Michael sings, "You gotta have faith" - faith that sometimes things do work out for the best, whether you are religious or not. And faith that most people are innately good, and the evil that abounds in some circles is an aberration.
We've just had our feel-good Christmassy experience.
I'd done the shopping, getting food and presents in for all and sundry, when we had a call from Rose's cousin in Sydney. "Come and have Christmas with us! We have some family down from Simbu and they want to meet youse two."
So stuffing the turkey back in the freezer (it can keep till New Year) we upped and went on the spur of the moment to stay with the tambus.
The story gradually unfolded as we got to know old Mana (not ours), her daughter and grand-daughter of nine eventful years, who had been brought down to Sydney by the family for a first visit outside PNG.
I'll call the old woman Josie. She is a typical Simbu bubu - kind-hearted, hard-working and generous to a fault. The kind of older woman I think holds PNG families together and is far too often taken for granted. She was reluctant to talk at first, but had brought SPs with her! So deserved credit for that.
It turned out that, some years ago, Josie was left on her own as her husband has died. She took in her daughter and grand-daughter when they found themselves also without a breadwinner, and lived together in a humble village hut in north Simbu.
Eighteen months ago, Josie was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She went downhill rapidly - the symptoms are strangely tragic and can start with something as simple as forgetting your nameor falling over for no reason.
She started sleeping 15 hours a day and became bedridden. The daughter went out to earn some kina to help feed the family and the nine-year old took up most of the burden of looking after the bubu.
But three months ago, she slowly started to feel better, and the family noticed an improvement. So our cousin's family in Sydney offered to bring her down to see some specialists, which is how they ended up in Sydney for Christmas.
The specialists were nonplussed, and concluded that the tumour was in spontaneous remission. In fact if it continues to grow smaller at this rate she may be completely cured in a few months.
So Bubu Josie is on the mend, her life is getting together again, young grand-daughter can go back to school, and things will hopefully return to normal sometime next year.
Now I've heard many stories of miracle cures, healing and such like, and to be honest the family being religious put it down to the power of prayer. Well I'm open-minded (God didn't see fit to cure my mum's cancer), but you cannot but admire the tenacity and faith of this remarkable woman and her family.
She's getting better and has taught us all an important lesson. Despite her suffering, she never lost faith, and never lost that humble yet cheeky Joie de vivre that I have seen in so many lovely PNG bubus. Like our mana, Josie cried when opening her presents.
Personally I put it down to bubu power. So love and respect your grandparents while you have them around good people.
So that's our feel-good moment this Christmas.