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Christmas gift suggestions…

  • to your enemy, forgiveness.

  • to an opponent, tolerance.

  • to a friend, your heart.

  • to a customer, service.

  • to all, charity.

  • to every child, a good example.

  • to yourself, respect.”

~ Oren Arnold

The above is an old quote but completely puts things into perspective and perhaps should be a reminder to us all that if we are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy Christmas celebrations, we should remember the whole purpose of them.

People can often lose sight of what’s important at Christmas time. For some, its an opportunity to take some much needed time off work and spend it with our families. For others, its a joyous religious and cultural celebration. However, admittedly for some families, it can be a season of stress, worry and sleepless nights.

It is usual for some families to worry about spending increased time together. Where relationships are rocky, spending increased time together and dealing with the financial burden of Christmas can put an enormous amount of strain upon a relationship. Also, separated families can often struggle at Christmas time and often find it very difficult to deal with the practicalities of the day which can lead to the involvement of solicitors, mediators and/or the family court.

In attempt to enjoy this festive season for what it is, we offer our advice and some practical considerations for families, whether separated or not, in the run up to Christmas….

  • Try not to argue over where to spend Christmas Day. It’s just one day out of 365 and the day is what you make of it. So if you have to see the “in-laws” or spend it away from your loved ones, just remember, its only one day and try to have a good time.

  • If you are a separated parent and the other parent refuses to negotiate on the arrangements for Christmas, be the bigger person. There is no child on this planet that benefits from parent’s arguing over the arrangements, not least for Christmas and it completely takes away the fun. Even if it’s through gritted teeth, try to back down if you need to and let it go.  Children do not need to be in the middle of your arguments and they pick up the hostility even if you don’t intend for them to. Also, they will enjoy Christmas Day regardless of where they spend it so try to remind yourself who it is you are trying to please and for what reason.

  • If you cannot be with your children on Christmas Day, consider what the real harm would be in celebrating Christmas with your child on another day, such as Boxing Day or Christmas Eve. It’s guaranteed that every child will love having two Christmas days and if you make it so, you will have the best day regardless of the actual date that your celebrations occur. 

  • It’s no competition as to how much you spend at Christmas and this year does not have to be bigger than the last. Christmas is expensive no matter what your budget is and it does not benefit anyone (or their bank balances) to spend to excess or to have a spoilt child. Try to keep your spending realistic and affordable. If you are a separated parent, try to agree beforehand what you are each going to buy your children and set a budget for Christmas presents.

If all of that is easier said than done or if the thought of your family Christmas is too much for you to deal with, do not hesitate to contact our family law team on 0113 3229222 or