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How to Survive Christmas! It's Just a day...

The latest article written by family barrister, Joanne Crossley.  A light-hearted view on how to get through the Christmas festivities.

How to Survive Christmas! It’s just a day…

Written by Joanne Crossley.  Family Barrister.

Posted 22.12.15


Family Life and the Law

Sometimes we'd all love to give clients (and each other, if we're honest) some straight life advice. Forget the authorities, the statutes, this week's Mostyn feud. Family law? Sometimes it's all just a matter of common sense.

Christmas is always one of those times for me. In my junior years, December was usually spent rushing round far flung courtrooms trying to sort out other people's Christmas arrangements - only to get home to negotiate the same nightmare myself.

I find this mantra helps: 'It's just a day' (my other mantra: 'It's just a roast dinner' is slightly disingenuous as my husband does all of the cooking. But that's because he's miserable and likes to lock himself in the kitchen. Also, it's less a mantra and more something I scream at him when things are getting out of hand).

'It's just a day' works for practically everything: getting the kids to their dad's on time but not so early they miss your parents, having to stay sober enough to pick up your teenagers, vegetarians, coping with interfering in-laws (not mine, yours. Mine are lovely).

The First Christmas as Separated Parents

There's no doubt your first big celebration as separated parents can be harrowing. It might seem impossible right now, but with a modest amount of seasonal good will (obviously this needs to be on both sides), you can make it work for yourselves and the kids. Alternating the big days, accommodating each other's family parties, communicating about presents. The playbook for a more peaceful celebration is obvious really.

And it will get easier. You'll find new ways of doing things that might come to feel quite liberating. You'll find some sensible and sensitive suggestions from The Pool's Sali Hughes here.

If all else fails…

I can recommend yoga and buckets of Taittinger Rose (currently 25% off at Waitrose). I find that both make it slightly easier to come to terms with the fact that my house will never look like the one in the photo.

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