So we start the countdown to Christmas, and for our family this year it is tinged with sadness. There is an empty chair in the room. My mum has been with us for Christmas for all but one of my daughter’s 13 years, and facing the time without her is going to be extremely difficult this year.
We’ve discussed all the implications as a family, and we have come to the conclusion that we have to make it even more festive than usual. Some of my usual traditions have been cast aside in order to make the children as happy as possible. The Christmas tree has gone up early this year, and there are going to be paper chains, lots of home cooked food and a general two week long party atmosphere.