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I cannot yet bring myself to put up a single Christmas decoration. The thought of finding the relevant boxes in my shed is filling me with horror. This has been causing me much stress because everyone I know has already decorated their Christmas tree. It feels way too early to me....my sister in law has even offered to come round and help me decorate my house because I am clearly incapable of doing it on my own and therefore seriously thinking about taking her up on the offer because if she loves it and I hate it - then it makes perfect sense to get her to do it instead of me. In fact, I might borrow her for the next two weeks and make her live in my house wearing a pair of angel wings and sprinkling fairy dust and icing sugar on everything - mostly me. I don't really know why I don't have that "I Love Christmas" thing myself. The older I get the worse it appears to be - If I had my way, I wouldn't put up decorations at all - I just don't really get Christmas decorations and I most certainly don't get Christmas cards (what do you think about emailing Xmas cards? Saves trees at least?). This is generally a very sad state of affairs. The only thing that really cheers me up is the little tiny tinsel sparkly pubes I stick on my nude painting. It makes me laugh ever year. It really is pathetic. I really should make more effort on account of my three children and this isn't an excuse, But... Like the mince pies and carrots left for Santa, all I really, really, really want to do, more than anything is put out a few of my father's favourite things - like bowls of nuts and homemade fudge in the hope that we might be able to entice him back to join us all for Christmas day. He could be our Christmas Spirit. Because, it's just not the same without him. I want to have a glass of champagne with my father on Christmas morning. With my brothers and their families and my mother there too and play Christmas music and laugh at my father's Christmas socks (always red) and Christmas jumper. However. That's not going to happen. He's not coming back. This will be the third Christmas we have had without him and it doesn't really get any easier I have to say. We all miss him dreadfully. It's the sort of pain that creeps up behind you when you least expect it. When you see somebody walk by that looks familiar - Movember is a nightmare because he had a moustache...or glance at my mother in one of her wistful moments and understand how she must feel every day of her life now that he's not around. That is the downside for her of having her soulmate by her side for nearly fifty years. The hole he left behind, the space you can almost see next to her is more universe sized rather than football sized. There are days when I miss him more now than I did at the beginning. I know my brothers feel the same. He had a massive sense of family tradition for Christmas. What we all enjoyed at Christmas time was down to him because he loved all the familiar traditions and merriment. Still. Nothing to be done about it. At least we will all be together this Christmas and the best bit is that we are going to above mentioned sister in laws family house AND I DON'T HAVE TO COOK! This will be fantastic news for everybody and there are young children to remind us about what Christmas is all about (sadly not mine as they will be with their father this year, but at least I will have them for Christmas eve and until lunchtime on Christmas day). I must take up the mantle and eat fudge. I will make lots and lots of fudge and wear red socks and grow a moustache and drink champagne - he would most certainly be disappointed with anything less.