A Christmas wish for all families
The Light of Christmas
By Stuart Hanson, Managing Partner & Family Mediator
Christmas is the season of light and as we walk through our towns the streets have an energy that is not felt on regular days. There is a sense of expectation, a feeling that something is about to happen – a counting down of days. For some, these days are only an act of observation. They feel they are looking in on a world they are not part of, as family conflict has broken something that was once perfect. It is knowing they are going to be apart, not seeing the expressions on their children’s faces or hearing familiar laughter that makes these days more than challenging.
When a child is born, hope comes into the world with innocence and a vulnerability, which we have a duty to protect. The child we hold has the potential for greatness and to bring a new future to us. These are the greatest gifts to humanity, but what can we bring? Over two millennia ago, a couple were on a journey, having had to leave their home. She was pregnant and they knew they had to find sanctuary, a safe place for their child. This is also something we need to give to our children. Without this, the world feels uncertain and there is no space to grow. The opening of brightly wrapped present containing shiny new toys will give a few seconds of joy, but the longest lasting gifts we can give are the ones that cost us nothing financially: love, kindness, support, protection and time.
Children rarely have a voice, or very often their voices are drowned by the adults surrounding them; so, if you are facing conflict within your family this season, take a moment to stop and revisit your childhood and the memories that you hold most important. Most probably these will be the times where you had a feeling of safety, contentment and the knowledge that you were loved.
A child brings light into the world with their smile, it is our role, as parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties to keep that light burning bright. What Christmas memories do we want to leave our children? Adult conflict is not for our children to witness, it is a time we need to work together, be inclusive, put hurt, fault and negative emotions aside and take up patience, grace and to focus on creating that safe space, which will let our child love all the family members in their life.
I wish you and your family peace and happiness this holiday and I will leave you to reflect on the words of the French poet, Placide Cappeau,
“O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”
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