For many of us, the Christmas festivities bring with it a range of difficult feelings. It can remind us of the people that we have lost, and it can bring into sharp relief the difference between the ideal families depicted on television and our own complex and less than ideal reality. More than at any other time of the year, Christmas can be a time of great sadness and loneliness. Feelings of loneliness can be as acute when you are in a room surrounded by people, as it is when you are in a room on your own. And it isn’t just something experienced by the few: 1 in 10 of us do not have a close friend and 1 in 5 of us feel unloved. It can affect us at any age whether we are young or old.