There is a very insightful article in the Guardian about how important Christmas is for nurturing our relationships with friends and family. Using some data from the new report by the Young Foundation Sinking and swimming: understanding Britain’s unmet needs, the article points to the increase in anxiety and depression and how important a renewed sense of connection is at Christmas “Between 1991 and 2007 prescriptions for antidepressants more than trebled. Anxiety and depression are set to double in a generation.”
Both Labour and the Conservatives have already begun to position themselves as the party of the family, but the debate so far has been dominated by ugly jousting over the importance of marriage. This is a dangerous impoverishment of a crucial debate. Contrary to the politicians’ rhetoric, the structure of the family is far less important than the quality of its relationships, as a recent Gingerbread report demonstrates. We also need to affirm the importance of all relationships, not just marriage. As society ages, the relationships between young and old will become all the more important. And the importance of relationships goes beyond the intimacies of home, into the public realm.
[Pic: Thank you ribbon from palomasnest]