Ruth Langsford has exclusively opened up to OK! magazine about her mixed feelings concerning Christmas this year following the tragic loss of her sister Julia Johnson.
Julia took her own life in June following a long battle with depression and Ruth, who lives in Surrey with her husband of nearly ten years Eamonn Holmes and their son Jack, 17, was understandably devastated.
“It’s going to be a very challenging time for me and my mum, who’ll be with us at Christmas,” Ruth told OK!, adding defiantly, “I could cancel Christmas, but my sister loved it so I’m having turkey and we’ll put Christmas carols on. I’m sure we’ll cry but we’ll also be happy.”
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When asked if they plan to do anything special this year to remember Julia by, Ruth admitted, “I don’t know because it’s my first Christmas without her. We’ll certainly talk about her and I’m sure my mum and I will share lots of lovely Christmas memories of Julia. We won’t be maudlin though – it’s finding the balance.”
Ruth, 59, opened up about the upcoming holidays when she and Eamonn invited OK! to their gorgeous home for a pre-Christmas chat. The couple, who've been together for 24 years now, often spend the holiday apart from one another, but Eamonn, who turned 60 this month, insisted that this year he will be by his wife's side to support her.
“I was planning to fly back to Belfast, as it’s not uncommon for Ruth and I to spend Christmas apart with our own families. But it’s barely six months since the sudden death of Ruth’s sister so I need to be here for her,” he told OK!
Meanwhile, revealing how the “grief comes in waves”, Ruth said she will throw herself into what she describes as the “busyness” of the pre-Christmas run-up. She told OK! “I prefer to use the word busy. I try not to let it feel stressful. It’s hard when you’re working and you’re trying to please everybody, but I quite enjoy the slightly crazy madness of Christmas.”
Adding that she'll be preparing the dinner for her family on the big day itself, she said, “My sister was a great cook and I also love cooking so I don’t find it a chore. Sometimes I cheat a bit and buy some ready-made red cabbage.”
The TV duo have three Christmas trees jollying up their home, which is decorated in subdued tones with splashes of colour provided by the modern works of art on the walls. A huge tree easily topping 12 ft takes pride of place in their hallway greeting guests as soon as they walk through the front door. The other two trees perfectly reflect Ruth and Eamonn's personalities, with a subtly- decorated specimen adorning the sitting room where Ruth likes to watch her reality shows and a more gaudily dressed tree in Eamonn's man-cave, which is dedicated to his beloved Manchester United FC!
To see all the stunning photos from the couple's festive at-home shoot and to read the full interview, see the brand new Christmas special edition of OK! magazine, on sale Tuesday 17 December.
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