I suffered physical and emotional abuse as a child/teenager and I grew up in a middle-class, pakeha, 'respectable' family.
Luckily for me there was enough of a sense of self and some really great friends in my 20's that helped me get the therapy I needed (and still do).
This emphasis on hitting the welfare class for their poor parenting skills does make me angry. People from all walks of life hit and/or otherwise abuse their children. Some manage to hide it better than others. The solutions have to cover everyone - not just one group.
I wish I could offer some solutions so that others in my situation don't have to suffer like I did. Good role models, parenting classes, various type of outreach programmes, violence detection chips implanted in every newborn (only joking)?
For my part, I'm looking at mentoring kids. A small step and only changing a life at a time but it might make what I went through, mean something.
I too, spend Christmas alone ... and LOVE it!
I cook myself a great meal and then go out to a movie. No hassle, no screaming kids, no fighting relatives..... nice and easy.
Sure just like Felix above, I have a chance to spend Christmas with others - and I have done that sometimes. But for me.... a day with no obligations or stress, it's great.
I haven't left Wellington for the holidays but have taken the chance to be a tourist in my own city. Hanging out in Te Papa and the City Art Gallery is actually a lot of fun (and since the weather hasn't been great - a warm, dry place to be). I've spent a lot of time checking out cafes I haven't been to and walking in parts of the city that I haven't had time to check out previously.
Nice to know that a place you have lived in for eight years still holds some surprises.
Another great thing that I have done during the break is check out all those movies I haven't had a chance to get to during the year. "Good Night, and Good Luck", "Syriana" and "The Constant Gardener" are movies I definitely recommend.
Anyway however you have chosen to spend this holiday - hope it was good for you and that this year will bring you all you hope for.