All I Want for Christmas is……….


Let me just say up front, I’m a bit of an Ebeneezer Scrooge, in that I loathe Christmas, and when I say Christmas, I mean all the tinsel and manic shopping, the almost fevered “Christmas shopping” mania that grips so many people.  The innumerable articles penned on “What to get the woman in your life to prove how much you luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve her” ones.

I have no problem with those of a Christian persuasion who chose to focus on the religious aspect of this time, fair enough, after all Christianity has been one of the most influential forces in the history of the west, again this is a two –edged sword, because Christianity has been the banner under which many invading armies have marched.  This doesn’t negate the fact that many people genuinely attempt to live their lives adhering to the positive principles inherent in Christianity.

Ok, so having said that, Christmas has evolved, if one could call it that, perhaps mutated would be a better word, either way, Christmas has a particular resonance, first for children, then for the parents of those children.

One cannot fault children for buying into the excitement, the expectations and the hype of Christmas, because it IS adults who generate and perpetuate this excitement and hype, and of course, advertisers whose job it is to persuade consumers to go completely mad and shop till they drop, till their credit cards melt and they have bought every last item of useless pointless crap on offer, because after all – “it’s for the children”

That is the motif around which Christmas is generally sold, isn’t it? “It’s FOR the children”

Now, part of the excitement for children, especially young children is making your “list for Santa” a time honoured tradition where children write down a list of things that they really really REALLY want – for Christmas.

In a survey conducted last year, apart from the usual requests for ipads, ponies and baby brothers or sisters, what came in 10th on the list of things children wanted for Christmas was “a Dad” a mother came in 23rd.

 This survey was done to ascertain the top 50 things children asked for, inevitably of course the request for tangible items, such as the ipads, ponies and suchlike came out quite high.  But one has to assume that at least some of the 2,000 parents of the children who were asked asked already had “a Dad” but that there were sufficient enough “fatherless” children among these to make a wish for “a Dad” a significant enough number to come in 10th.

I wonder, how many mothers, the ones whose children don’t have “a Dad” are “single mothers” who have made an art form out of keeping their children from their fathers, how many see Christmas as yet another battle to be won “for the children”

In an article in the Telegraph on 7 December 2012, Sally Peck quotes family lawyer Allison Hawes who has this to say.

We advise the parents we support to consider practical compromises, to make sure children aren’t caught in the cross fire. And to try to remember that the festive period is mainly for children to enjoy, rather than for parents to try and score points

Sound advice, isn’t it? I wonder how many took it last year, and how many this year will once again ignore it?

I also find myself wondering how many of the children in the survey got their wish last year, and would those same children be STILL wishing for “a Dad” this year.

Pecks article highlights a dilemma from a father who’s ex has decided to take the children a three hour drive away to her parents “for Christmas” leaving him alone and making spending time with his children difficult.

On the surface this seems to be just a case of “letting children spend time with their grandparents” doesn’t it?

But, you know and I know, it is the perfect excuse to camouflage a selfish and calculated act to separate children from their fathers – at Christmas.

Its playing the “Christmas is for families” card and it absolves the “I’m just doing it for the children” mother from being accused of manipulating not just the situation, but the children.

And there are oh so many handy readily available justifiable “excuses” waiting to be manipulated at Christmas aren’t there? All manufactured, all cited as “just doing it for the children” and all have nothing to do with what children really really want for Christmas.

To spend time with their fathers.




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