Yesterday, I walked into town and found the shops filling up with Christmas things and I was surprised by an overwhelming sadness, so much so that by the time I got home I was in floods of tears. This isn't like me, but... Christmas was always a great time in our house. Dad- who died of cancer 14 years ago - always loved Christmas, and when he died, I made sure I was with Mum at that time and made it my job to ensure that she, my brother and his family all had a good time. Things between my brother's family and Mum soured over the years - I think his wife was jealous of any affection shown to Mum - and gradually that made life more and more difficult. In fact, in the last two years of Mum's life, I think she saw her grandchildren just once …. and they (aged 17 and 18) didn't attend the funeral. I'm sure you can imagine what all of this did to my relationship with that side of the family. Mum died in April last year. I made sure last Christmas that there was plenty to do - and I made the effort to go and see my brother and his family, bearing gifts as always. I also arranged for me and my husband to meet up with them in March of this year, to try to rebuild bridges - the kids decided not to come. So, seeing all that Christmas stuff just brought home to me how different Christmases are going to be from now on, with just me and my husband (who hates Christmas, anyway!) I've been described in the past as 'being blessed with a sunny disposition, and it's true that I can usually find a positive in most situations. Maybe that's why I was so floored by my emotions yesterday. It made me wonder what others do to cheer themselves up when they're going through a sad patch.