Christmas can be a challenging time for families in any city, but certainly more so in one that exists, in part, in a state of deprivation brought about by tremendous loss and unimaginable upheaval.

The Salvation Army's Major Mike Allwright spoke to nzherald.co.nz of "earthquake fatigue" and of a city whose people feel like the rest of New Zealand has moved on without them.

He said they would like to move on too, but that they could not.

After more than a year of being on guard for the sake of their children while trying to manage the stress of post-earthquake compensation claims, some families are finding it hard to make this Christmas special.

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Here, they hope to remind New Zealand of how the Canterbury earthquakes have affected their lives, and dramatically altered their futures.