Does Christmas togetherness drive people apart?

January 3, 2018

It’s the first week back in the new year and we always notice an increase in new enquiries, could it be the focus on togetherness at Christmas that creates this new year demand?

In the weeks and months leading up to Christmas retailers work hard to persuade us to spend money with an ever sparklier collage of advertising aimed our way. There has been a common theme to much of the Christmas advertising this year, the telling word ‘together’: ‘Bring everyone together’, ‘nothing brings people together like a movie’, ‘together we’re merrier’, ‘have an amazing Christmas together’, ‘Christmas tastes better together’…. the list of brands who’ve used this carefully chosen word goes on and on.

It certainly evokes the central theme of the festive season for even the most non-religious amongst us: spending time with family and friends. Just buying stuff isn’t quite enough it seems: brands want to associate themselves with those happy, warm feelings we all supposedly share over the Christmas dinner table.

But could all this perfect togetherness have a downside? Is it setting expectations that we feel we can’t live up to and therefore shining a light on the imperfections in our own relationships?  Stowe Family Law Senior Partner, Julian Hawkhead says:

“Not only does all this focus on time with family and friends leave out those unable to reunite, but family lawyers like ourselves often wonder whether all that social pressure to spend time together sometimes has the opposite effect, worsening tensions in unhappier families and driving them apart.”

The first working day of the New Year has been dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ by the media and family lawyers, with a very noticeable surge in calls and new instructions every year, Julian Hawkhead continued.

“The long planned and carefully prepared-for festivities are over, the kids are back at school and if Christmas was fraught, the disappointment might be kicking in.  It’s also the beginning of a New Year, when people’s thoughts frequently turn to new beginnings and major life changes that maybe had been put on hold just to get through Christmas”.

This new year, new start trend seems to be here to stay. Here at Stowe Family Law we’ve already taken a higher volume of calls than this time last year. Whilst early legal advice is important if you do take the difficult decision to divorce, it’s also important we ensure potential new clients take the time to reflect and ensure that this is what they really want.

At Stowe Family Law we believe your lawyer should take the time to listen to your unique needs and ensure the advice they give is right for your individual circumstances.

Maybe we should all try and ensure we are not trying live up to advertisers’ vision of the perfect family, and spare ourselves a lot of unneeded pressure going into the new year.


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