I have heard many family court judges admonish divorcing parties and attorneys that if they cannot agree on timeshare of the children during the Christmas holidays, then they should file their motion well in advance of the Christmas break. This is because they know from experience that conflict tends to mount higher among divorcing and divorced couples during the holidays. This results in a sharp rise in motions for timeshare modification in the weeks leading up to Christmas as well as emergency motions being filed.
The season celebrating God the Father giving up His most precious gift: His only Son born of Him, becomes the season of giving grief. This is because we all (not just divorced parents) turn the season into one of being entitled. An expectancy of receiving takes hold. As parents, we slip into holding the holiday itself as sacred rather than Jesus and due to that elevated status, we believe it is paramount that our children are with us during those holy days.
At the risk of losing family law business by running counter to this trend I adjure divorcing parents, divorced parents, or parents never married to consider what the best gift for your children actually is this Christmas. That is, I stand a much better chance of getting clients from this post if I say: “Stand up for your rights; you deserve to have your children with you during Christmas!” Instead, I risk losing clients by asking the opposite. Do you want the season where God sacrificed His Son by giving Him over to us and for us to be marked by conflict for your children? Or, would you want to exemplify sacrifice by giving your children peace, even if that means you lose some hours or days of direct contact?
I recognize that this will not fit every situation. There are some of you out there where it truly would be harmful to the children to be in an unsafe environment during Christmas. There are some who have been taken advantage of over and over and it actually is time to take a stand. HOWEVER, the tendency for us is to always believe and claim we are the EXCEPTION rather than the one who needs to sacrifice. So, I hope that anyone who reacts to this post: Please seek to look at it prayerfully and honestly.