(I am not looking for sympathy here, so please do not misconstrude that with what I am posting below). This will be my first Christmas since my mum passed away in late February of this year and while we never really celebrated the holidays, I know that it is going to feel really lonely since this year, it is only going to be my sister and myself in the house (other family members either live inter-state or have their own plans) and it will definitely be lonely without her around. I remember that each year, we would always spend the Christmas Eve night in the kitchen, cooking up a huge chicken and roast beef, complete with baked potatoes, pumpkin, mint jelly, all smothered in gravy with a serving of ice cream with vanilla custard poured thickly all over it for desert and a cake to top it all off, but this year, my sister and I will not be having any of that and will just have a simple meal probably of take away pizza or something else boring like that - a stark contrast to what we normally do for Christmas lunch... but it is not the food that I will really miss, but the company of spending the holiday with my mum, but while I will not be alone and still have my sister with me for the holidays, there is just that piece of my heart which I always took for granted to always be around that has been taken away. I guess, what I am really trying to say to anyone reading this post is that no matter how lonely you are during the holiday period, cherish what you have, the people around you and always show them how much you cherish them, because you never know how suddenly things in your life will change and I do not want anyone to have any regrets. And do not forget your pets, if you have any - if you have pets that you can hug, then hug them, if you have birds or or other kinds of pets, give them a little special treat (as long as it is not bad for their health!) but above all, enjoy the holiday period with all you have.