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For many families Christmas is a time of excited anticipation – looking forward to everything that the festive season has to offer and the chance to spend that period with family and friends. For other families it fills them with dread, for fear of how it will pan out or whether children will get to share the holiday with both their parents.

With that in mind any arrangements affecting children should be made as well in advance as possible, to ensure that both children and parents know where they stand and what is expected of them, in the hope it will minimise anxiety and any disappointment.

Most parents want to spend time with their children over Christmas. To do that in a nurturing way, plan ahead and think about what the children will want to do and how best that can be achieved. If they are happy then everyone else can have a good time too.

So here are 10 tips to help you prepare for Christmas:

  • Agree in advance where the children will be Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
  • Ensure that meals provided take account of what the children may have eaten earlier or later in the day
  • Travelling can be tiring not just for the adults but the children as well. Bear this in mind when planning your Christmas celebrations
  • Don’t forget age appropriate Christmas presents for the children concerned
  • If you can’t be with your children over the festive season don’t forget to deliver or post a card and/or present to them in time for Christmas
  • Where possible consider helping children buy a present for their other parent or other people significant to them
  • Don’t leave organising your attendance at a child’s Christmas production to the last minute.Speak to the school etc. well in advance
  • Be sensitive as to who you take with you to see the performance
  • If you are in a new relationship, that’s great but be sensitive to the needs of your children as to when you introduce your new partner to your child. Christmas may not be the best time of the year to do that
  • If your child is spending Christmas with you, where appropriate ensure they get time to speak to their other parent.

If your planning for Christmas has not yet started, do not leave it to the last minute as it may be difficult for the other parent to change their arrangements.  If you are finding it difficult to make arrangements then consider resolving any points of difference through mediation or the collaborative process.

For more information contact Helen Clyne.  Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.