I must be moving up in the world: I haven't dealt with a single last minute spat over who gets the kids on Christmas Day this year. I had steeled myself for the annual onset of the Christmas Contact frenzy: desperate attempts to shoehorn in urgent hearings, and to persuade a judge to give the judgment of Solomon in a 30 minute directions slot. But the only cases I have dealt with this year have been thought through well in advance and agreed sensibly, usually by saying one parent has Christmas Day and the other Boxing Day, in some cases a split on the day (where parents live nearby).
There is an interesting and thoughtful piece in The Times today about just this issue: how blended and stepfamilies manage the minefield of Christmas. Christmas is a recipe for fallings out at the best of times but it can be a really tough time for those who are separated or divorced, and for their kids and their wider families.