After a hectic year that demanded lots of adjustments, the Krugers are wishing for a relaxed Christmas and spending quality time as a family.
“We’ll be here in Stilbaai,” Anicè Kruger, mom of burn victim Pippie Kruger, tells YOU.
This year Anicè returned to working full-time for the first time since Pippie’s accident happened at the end of 2011.
Pippie was a two-year-old toddler when a container of firelighter gel exploded during a New Year’s Eve braai on their farm in Limpopo. The little girl suffered third-degree burns over 80% of her body.
In ground-breaking surgery Pippie’s own cloned skin was grafted onto her wounds. Since the accident she’s had 60 operations and spent two years in hospitals and rehabilitation.
“It wasn’t an easy year for me, and it’s becoming more difficult the closer it gets to New Year’s Day,” Anicè admits. But she’s looking forward to Christmas with her family and to the new year.
Anicè runs a coffee shop in the popular coastal town, where she’s lived since the beginning of 2019 with Pippie and Arno, her younger son.
“We’re still waiting for the bulk of holidaymakers to arrive, so I really hope we’ll be very busy,” says the former chef and lodge manager.
Her husband Erwin, a professional hunter who works up north most of the time and survived a black mamba attack in October, is expected to arrive in Stilbaai soon.
Although Anicè will be kept busy in the coffee shop during the festive season, the family be together for Christmas and New Year, before Erwin returns to Lephalale, where they used lived and he still works.
“I’m really looking forward to Christmas. It’s quite festive and remains enjoyable each year,” Anicè says.
But this year she’s not that keen on preparing her Christmas magic in the kitchen. Instead she’d like to have easy, relaxed day on the beach.
“I’ll probably make the food again, but I think we’ll have cheese and biscuits on the beach. I don’t feel like a big feast, I just want to take things easy this year,” Anicè says about her Christmas plans.
“But there’ll definitely be ice cream! And we’ll make keto ice cream for Pippie. So, we’ll make it (Christmas) fun,” she says.
Pippie, who turned 10 in June, is on a keto eating plan and needs sufficient fats, butter and oils.
“Sometimes I wish Pippie could also eat all the wrong things. But she says no thank you, Anicè. She doesn’t want it. She’s quite content on her keto diet, as long as she’s with us. ”
She says Pippie and little Arno are both well. “Arno is doing well at school and received a very good report.
"Pippie’s doing amazing. She’s talking a lot more and igrowing fast. We’re running out of clothes that fit her. And she’s active, she doesn’t want to lie down anymore. She wants to sit up and stand,” Anicè says.
“I think since her birthday her teen hormones started kicking in. Of course she’s now a ‘tween’. She’s already a bit moody and the teen tantrums have started. She’ll ignore you for half an hour and tell you she’s angry with you.
“But afterwards she’s so forgiving, it’s very cute,” Anicè says about her eldest child.
And what are on the kids’ Christmas wish-lists?
“Pippie still wants anything that’s a ‘ninnie’, which is what she calls a horse. Or Lego. Arno is also still Lego-crazy,” Anicè laughs.
“We’ll see what we can do for them.”
Anicè just want her children to be happy. “I want my kids to smile and laugh and be content and happy. That’s all I have on my Christmas list.”
She says Arno got very excited when they started putting up the Christmas tree. “My cat wasn’t that impressed with the tree. And Pippie really enjoyed her granny and grandpa visiting us. So she didn’t take too much notice of the tree.”
But Anicè believes it’s important to teach her kids about the true significance of Christmas – the birth of Jesus.
“Those are the traditions we’d like to pass to our children.”
And her own Christmas wish?
“My Christmas wish is that 2020 will be an easier year for the world. I think 2019 was one of the most difficult years for people, also for us. And I hope people will have fewer and easier challenges,” Anicè says.