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The team at Lynn & Brown would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe, happy and peaceful Christmas; and joy, strength and courage for whatever 2020 holds for you.

We take this opportunity to look at some things that may be relevant to you at this time of year, through the lens of some great Christmas carols.  We’ve also thrown in a few interesting Christmas facts for you to wow your family and friends with at your celebrations.

 

Jingle Bells

Did you know? 

The song “Jingle Bells” was originally written in 1857 by James Pierpont for Thanksgiving.  Its original name was “One Horse Open Sleigh”.  The very next year it was republished as “Jingle Bells” and has been a part of Christmas celebrations since 1858.

Christmas tip

Make sure the jingle bells (aka police sirens) aren’t ringing for you this Christmas – if you plan on drinking – don’t drive.  Remember double demerit points are enforce for the whole of the festive season and no-one wants to lose their licence due to a celebratory over-indulgence.

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Did you know? 

Rudolph was created by Montgomery Ward, an American mail order business, as an advertising gimmick in 1839.  Originally, he didn’t even have a red nose.  It is postulated by the author of the book “The Physics of Christmas”, Roger Highfield, that the red nose is caused by a parasite.

Christmas tip

Hopefully none of us will succumb to a parasitic infection this yuletide, but it is a good time to review your will and other testamentary documents and ensure that you have the correct executor named, you haven’t married or divorced since making your last will (which would invalidate it) and everyone you love and care for has been provided for appropriately.

 

We wish You a Merry Christmas

Did you know? 

It is believed that this carol was written especially for English carolers in 16th century England who would sing at the houses of the wealthy until they were rewarded with treats – hence the lines, “oh, bring us some figgy pudding; we won’t go until we get some”!  Figgy pudding is a traditional English dessert still enjoyed in the UK at Christmas time today.

Christmas tip

If you are separated and have children, you want to ensure that they have a Merry Christmas too, so remember to put them first at Christmas; be co-operative with your former partner to ensure a smooth and event-free Christmas;  and make plans well in advance (with written confirmation) so that everyone knows what is happening.

 

O Christmas Tree

Did you know? 

The Christmas tree displayed in Trafalgar Square every year is donated to the people of London from the people of Oslo in thanks for their assistance during WWII.  Likewise, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia gives a Christmas tree to the city of Boston every year in thanks for the support it received from Boston during their 1917 explosion and subsequent fire.

Christmas tip

Gift giving is an integral part of modern Christmas, but there are many gift giving policies that go unread until it is too late, and no-one wants to be disappointed at Christmas.  It is estimated that more than $400,000,000 is spent in Australia alone on unwanted Christmas gifts, so make sure that you are aware of return policies and keep receipts to assist with possible returns.

 

Silent Night

Did you know? 

During WWI there was a now famous truce in the trenches between the Germans and the British.  During the truce the two enemies played soccer, exchanged gifts and decorated their respective trenches.  The story of this amazing event is immortalised in Stanley Weintraub’s “Silent Night:  The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce”.

Christmas tip

Tempers can run high over the Christmas season – otherwise known as the “silly season” – which can lead to a plethora of potential disputes, that may be avoided with a more level head, and some time to calm down.  Before escalating an issue, take a step back, a deep breath and think about what you are doing.

 

Away in a Manger

Did you know? 

Christmas is one of the most popular times for travel not only in Australia, but also around the world.  Santa is no exception – he needs to get to an estimated 2,106,000,000 children to deliver gifts in a very limited 36 hours.  It is theorised that he travels 340,000,000 kilometers at an average speed of 1,050 kms per second!

Christmas tip

If you are travelling this Christmas make sure that you stay safe on the roads and that you read the fine print on travel insurance documents so that you know what you are covered for.  If you are separated and travelling with your children over the festive season make sure that your former partner knows how to contact the children on Christmas Day – no-one wants to miss out on saying Merry Christmas!

 

White Christmas

Did you know? 

Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas” is the highest-selling single of all time.  Paul McCarney’s “Christmas Song” is widely regarded as the worst song he ever recorded, but it still earns him over US$400,000 a year!

Christmas tip

There can be no doubt that we won’t be having a White Christmas in Western Australia this (or any other) year.  In fact – by all predictions we have had our hottest November on record, and if last week is anything to go by, December looks set to be a record breaker too.  Remember to be mindful in this excessively hot weather not to leave children or pets in the car unattended at all.

 

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Did you know? 

One in three American men wait until Christmas Eve to do their Christmas shopping. 74% of households estimate that the woman of the house will do all of the Christmas wrapping.  Women wrap an estimated double the number of gifts that men wrap each December.

Christmas tip

A 2010 Facebook study revealed that two weeks before Christmas is the most popular time of the year for couples to break up, closely followed by two weeks after Valentine’s Day.  Avoid the heartache and fellas – pitch in with the wrapping and Christmas shopping – it might help to keep your relationship in tact!

 

Joy to the World

Did you know? 

Obviously, Christmas is not celebrated by everyone around the world, but about 2 billion people in the world consider it to be the most important holiday of the year.  Many people who are not Christian still join in the celebration of Christmas as a cultural holiday.  From the time that Christmas was first celebrated on December 25th in 366 to today Christmas has undergone many changes, but it remains a time of joy, peace and happiness for all to enjoy.

 

Christmas Quotes

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” ~ W.T. Ellis

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” ~ Peg Bracken

“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” ~ Janice Maeditere

 

About the author:

This article has been authored by Jacqueline Brown who is a Perth lawyer and director at Lynn & Brown Lawyers.  Jacqui has over 20 years’ experience in legal practice and practices in family law, mediation and estate planning.  Jacqui is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator and a Notary Public.

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