Christmas is the best of times and the worst of times. For most of us, Christmas is the best of times- the time that we can spend with friends and family with joy. For some of us, Christmas is an agonising period when relationships end, and there is no contact with children or close family: a recipe for loneliness. Christmases spent that way are tough. For family lawyers, Christmas often brings in many new clients who have split up over Christmas, or who argue about Christmas.
Here’s how to survive the agonies of Christmas:
- Don’t blow the credit card. There’s nothing worse in January when the bills come home to roost, and blame is flung about like manure in stables. Avoid, avoid!
- Cool down. Getting hot and bothered at Christmas is a sure fire to start the fight to end all fights. Jump in the pool, get into air con, stand in front of a fan- do whatever you have to do to get cool. Don't remain overheated.
- Tolerate the in-laws. You would be amazed how many times dealing with an annoying relative at Christmas can be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Your father-in-law might be the ugliest man alive, but it might be best not to remind him of that in florid language. Aunty Eva might be an ugly witch- but to remind her of that, with grog and a few choice words thrown in, is a good recipe for spending many thousands of dollars on divorce lawyers.
- Don’t drink too much. Dehydration, hangovers and lack of inhibition from drinking are a wonderful recipe to end a relationship.
- Remember the kids. Arguments about kids at Christmas are usually pointless. The arguments are often bigger than the original point made- and almost always bounce back to hurt the kids.Make their interests the priority- not your ego.
- Take care with driving. Although it might be possible to drive straight from Brisbane to Mackay in one go, driving huge distances without rest and relaxation is not only stressful, but it could be deadly.
- Plan ahead. If you know you are going to be alone at Christmas- take action to be with friends, or if you have money- travel. Why not?
- Don’t do anything silly. It is easy to be depressed when alone and everyone else seems to be enjoying their time. Remember that you are loved and cherished. If in doubt, call Lifeline 13 11 14.
- There’s always next year. Planning your Christmas to the nth degree might be a good thing, but don’t stress if things don’t all go to plan. They usually don’t. The nuclear option at Christmas time is usually the worst.
- Spare a thought for others. While you have been self-destructing, remember those who work through Christmas providing essential services. They have to get on with it, and help others.