On Christmas Eve 2022, my smallest child visited Santa. She gazed, wide eyed, into his friendly bearded face and then, oh so quietly, whispered that she would really, really like him to bring her a potion set. So quietly, in fact, that nobody heard her. The outcome was the kind of crushing Christmas Day disappointment that could only be salved by a tacky film, half a chocolate orange and a long nap under a blanket.

Fearing that I had had a glimpse of the teenage years to come, never has it been more clear to me that Christmas, like love, teeters on a narrow verge between heart raising hope and all-out disaster.

It is often assumed that family lawyers are cynical when it comes to matters of the heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. A quick waltz through some of the Christmas film greats will illustrate just that.

"KEVIN!" Let's start with Home Alone. When Macaulay Culkin was left stranded in that huge house over the festive period, parents everywhere felt an uncomfortable clenching in their stomachs (as well as consoling ourselves with the fact that Kevin's family probably had an enormous mortgage). Home Alone demonstrates perfectly that no geographical divide is insurmountable over the festive season. For child contact arrangements, a little careful planning and some sound legal advice will assist in overcoming such obstacles.

Unfaithful partner this Noël, or perhaps a wee dose of unrequited love? Take heart from Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in The Holiday. You, too, could fall head over heels for Jude Law or Jack Black and be up and running in a new relationship by Hogmanay. For international love, you may have the option of more than one jurisdiction in which to legalise the formation (or untangling) of your relationship.

If you have suffered heartbreak, look no further than the plight of Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street. Love (like my daughter's Christmas morning) does not always work out exactly as we hope, but year on year, we continue to forge relationships because In Love We Trust. Pre cohabitation and pre nuptial agreements will help to keep that smile on your face.

And of course, what would these musings be without a nod to Love Actually? High profile love (thanks, Hugh Grant); Keira Knightley swithering between two men; Alan Rickman outraging us all (poor Emma Thompson); Colin Firth proposing in Portugal and, perhaps the most touching, the platonic love between Laura Linney and her brother…this film is truly a family lawyer's dream.

So, what am I trying to tell you?

In Christmas, as in love, not everything goes to plan. A little advice and planning (and perhaps avoiding any late Christmas Eve requests) can go a long way. Festive romances, engagements, moving in together, travelling the world to see your family? We are all for it. In the words of Wet Wet Wet, love is all around, and we family lawyers would quite like to keep it that way, actually.