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Entries in Christmas (3)


Santa doesn't come to daddy's house

Now that the school holidays are over, the next issue facing separated families may well be the arrangements for Christmas.

One member started to discuss with his solicitor about asking for contact from Christmas Eve into Christmas morning, given that his child spent last Christmas with her mother.

He was disconcerted when his solicitor just laughed and exclaimed "no way!"

He asked what was funny. She replied, "Santa doesn't come to daddy's house" and then suggested that ALL Sheriffs in Scotland will grant the mother the right to have their child/children waking up in their home on Christmas day as "Santa will only go there!".

Apart from hoping that this particular lawyer was mistaken about sheriffs in her own area FNF Scotland knows that some sheriffs have agreed proposals to alternate contact arrangements for Christmas and birthdays.

We would point out the Scottish Government's Parenting Agreement for Scotland makes no mention of the one-sided viewpoint the solicitor appeared to believe although it does make the sensible suggestion that special days such as birthdays and Christmas should be discussed well in advance, and that children should be consulted.


Season's greetings from FNF Scotland

We're not sending out any cards, but our best wishes to all the people who have attended our events, turned up at local group meetings and sent us information and ideas during 2011.

Particular good wishes to all the members of Families Need Fathers Scotland, especially those who have raised money at sponsored events or given their time to support others through phone calls and emails, at meetings or by turning up at court hearings or witnessing tricky handovers. 

Members have also attended MSP surgeries, written letters to local papers or rung in to phone-ins to get the message across that Families Need Fathers and Both Parents Matter.

We have made some significant advances during the year, but a lot remains to be done in 2012.

Ian Maxwell and John Forsyth.


Father's Christmas Tree now in place


For many dads and other family members who are denied contact with their children,  Christmas Day is just one of the worst days of the year. The pain of separation from their children on this supposedly family day can seem like too much to bear for some dads.

A fathers' Christmas Tree has been situated in the Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh's High Street.

Storyteller Tim Porteus, who runs story workshops for dads, explained the idea behind the tree. "It's called the Fathers' Christmas Tree, and it is a small but symbolic attempt to recognise that for many fathers with access problems, Christmas is an extremely painful time, when separation from their children becomes especially unbearable"

"Dads, or any family member denied access to a child during this time, can come and place a yellow ribbon on the tree. If they don't live nearby they can leave a message on the Facebook site and a ribbon will be placed there for them."

FNF Scotland is happy to support this venture, and we have also published a set of tips for separated families at Christmas.