Seven Tips for Peaceful Holidays


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For many people, the holidays are a way to end the year on a high note. Shopping, parties, travel, sports and family visits can be lots of fun. But they can also cause stress and even legal problems. These tips will help you enjoy the holidays with peace of mind.


1 – Divorced or Separated Parents: Who Gets the Children?

Living Arrangements for Children

Court decisions and agreements approved by a court or a special court clerk often say who the children will spend the holidays with.

If you want to change things this year, it is a good idea to make an agreement with the other parent ahead of time.

Important! An agreement approved by a court or a special court clerk has the same value as a court order. You must follow it. To find out how to change it, read our article Changes in Child Custody.


Travel With Children

If you want to travel alone with your children, you usually need the other parent’s agreement. Deciding whether to let children travel is part of the rights and responsibilities of parents.

Visit the Canadian government website to find out what documents you need.


2 – If You Drink, Call Operation Red Nose!

The holidays are a time for parties and . . . roadblocks  ̶  an explosive mix! Remember, making a U-turn when you see a roadblock gives police a good reason to stop you and check whether you've been drinking.

Read our article Holidays, Alcohol and Roadblocks to learn about crimes you can be charged with if you drink and drive.


3 – Cancelling an Online Purchase That Arrives Late

You’ve found the perfect gift online, but it still hasn’t arrived? Better have a back-up plan! 

You can usually cancel your purchase if it doesn't arrive within 30 days, unless another date is mentioned in the contract.

To learn how to cancel the purchase, see our short video Cancelling an Online Purchase.


4 – Gift Cards Must Be Accepted

As a general rule, gift cards can’t have expiry dates. Also, you shouldn’t have to pay extra fees when you use them. In some cases, you can even get cash for money left on the card. But there are some exceptions.

Learn more by reading our article Prepaid Cards.


5 – Public Holidays: What You’re Entitled to

Christmas day and New Year’s day are public holidays. Even if you don’t have to work on these days, the law on labour standards says you must be paid, in money or time off.

But if you do have to work, our article Public Holidays explains what your rights are.


6 – Ski Accidents: Who Is Responsible?

A lot of people like to head to the slopes over the holidays. But skiing and snowboarding come with risks. Learn what your responsibilities are by reading our article Responsibility for Injuries in Sports.


7- Planning a Trip? Four Tips for Smooth Sailing

Going south to escape winter? This short video has tips on travelling with peace of mind.