Despite the deluge of jolly advent blog posts and cheery festive avatars, I know that Christmas isn't a fairytale for everyone. Losing people that you love or caring for a poorly loved one makes holidays seem much harder to bear than 'normal' days.

If you're finding this time of year difficult and you'd like to talk to someone about it or get some support, then Macmillan can help.

Our Support Line team are available every weekday between 9am-8pm by calling 0808 808 0000. They are closed at weekends and on the bank holidays 26th, 27th, 28th December and 2nd January. During these times you can always find someone to listen in the chat rooms if you need some emotional support.

If you need some information from one of our nurses during these times, please check our extensive cancer information pages on the site for clinical information, where you may find the answer to your question. I also recommend that you contact your Dr or specialist to find out their availability over the holiday period. If you are experiencing a medical emergency then please do contact the emergency services.

The welfare rights advisers on our Support Line can also provide financial advice, as this can be a particularly expensive time of year. If you are feeling the strain of living with a cancer diagnosis then our advisers can help you to work out whether you are eligible for any benefits or grants.

Whilst the Support Line is closed over the holidays, you can find out about ways that Macmillan can help out financially on our financial support pages.

If you are grieving the loss of a friend, partner or family member then you may find the information about coping with loss helpful, there are also several groups in the Community where you can talk to others who understand even a little of how you're feeling.

Finally, if you really need someone to talk to and our lines are closed, The Samaritans are always open and can offer a listening ear if you need a chat.

I hope that at least some of that is helpful and that you all have a peaceful Christmas. If you'd like to get in touch with someone from the admin team, we're in the office full time until Friday 23rd December, and then working shifts throughout the Christmas period.