Christmas means many things to many people. To some it is filled with magical memories of sparkling lights, tinsel and brightly coloured presents under the tree. Others anticipate the delights of a table laden with meats, salads, puddings and in the Southern Hemisphere at least—a medley of tropical fruits.
For many it is filled with the joys of giving and receiving—and if we are very lucky, these gifting rituals may even help us draw close to the true spirit of Christmas where we are reminded of the abundant blessings in our lives.
However, for many, Christmas can be a time of tension and loneliness. It can be a time when we are reminded of the painful fractures that may have occurred within families. This can be especially so for families who have separated. Even with the very best will in the world from everyone involved, there are so many things to navigate about Christmas: Where will the children go? How will the parents share them over the festive season? How will they navigate the two separate worlds of their parents? What if relationship have broken down to the extent that they can no longer see beloved grandparents?
At Christmas time, instead of mistletoe and holly, separated families can feel that their path is strewn with obstacles—swamps of despair, no-through roads of disappointment and mountains of dashed dreams.
Two Worlds: when relationships end and parents separate, is a set of cards published by St Innovative Resources and the Anglicare Diocese of Sydney. The 48 Two Worlds
cards use stunning, original, water-colour illustrations by Carolyn Marrone to help provide a voice for everyone touched by separation.
Designed by experienced separation counsellors and child and family workers, Two Worlds is a unique resource for building healing conversations with children or adults experiencing separation … or any significant transitions and life changes.
Use these cards to ask questions like:
- Can you choose three cards that describe the kind of Christmas you would like to have?
- Can you choose three cards that describe the kind of Christmas you would wish for your children or other loved ones?
- Thinking of the lead-up to Christmas and Christmas Day itself—can you choose cards that speak about the challenges you think may face?
- Can you choose cards that speak about strengths you will want to draw on to meet these challenges?
- Can you choose cards that express what you think is the most precious thing about Christmas?
- Can you choose cards that are the key things you would like to discuss with your ex regarding arrangements for your children at Christmas?
When a couple separates, one world becomes two. When that couple has children, they too face the challenges of navigating their way through the two new worlds of their parents. These challenges can be daunting, even overwhelming—especially at significant celebrations like Christmas. Take care this Christmas, in navigating your Two Worlds.