No, not Christmas silly – that limps on until twelfth night. But divorce is the gift that keeps on giving, if only for the likes of myself and Charon QC, who are happy to shamelessly utilise the concept just for some mildly amusing content in that wilderness between Christmas day and the resumption of reality.
And on a slightly less humorous note whilst we all still have the smell of sprouts in our nostrils, here is a practical tip to be filed away for next year: because it’s not just the separated and divorced who have to deal with the practical consequences of more complicated family arrangements. Its the extended family too. Children of separated parents often experience multiple Christmas Days, and multiple present opening frenzies – one with each parent. It can be difficult for other children within the extended family who may be around on Boxing Day for someone elses Christmas Day Part Deux but who have opened most or all of their presents. My lesson learnt for this year is to keep some presents back for the second round, so that none of the kids feels left out – or at least make sure they are able to bring some of their presents with them. Surreptitious gift wrapping of chocolate coins in a paper napkin (tied beautifully with a rubber band) just to ensure that boy 1 had something to open whilst his cousins ripped open barbies, dinosaurs, trucks and all sorts of other “stuff” secured our survival this year pretty much unscathed, with no broken limbs, broken toys or tantrums – but you only get that lucky once, and if we make the same mistake again next year it is certain to be a total bloodbath.