Brendan O'Carroll has a poignant Christmas tradition to remember his late son and loved ones

 Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for Brendan O'Carroll, but it can also be a sad time as he misses family members no longer with him, including his son and mum

Brendan O'Carroll has shared the poignant Christmas tradition he follows every year to remember his late loved ones, including his son.

The creator of Mrs Brown's Boys sadly lost his son Brendan Jr when he was just three days old.

He is a proud dad to sons Danny and Eric and daughter Fiona but never forgets his firstborn, especially around Christmas time.
The Dubliner also misses his mum Maureen at this time of year.

While Brendan loves the festive period, he also acknowledges that it can be a difficult time of year for many people and hopes to put that across to viewers in this year's Mrs Brown's Boys special, which airs on RTE One and BBC One on Christmas Day.

"I always try to reflect that in the message at the end of the show," he said.

"This year, her message is, 'Christmas is a wonderful time, but it can be a lonely time as well, so go into your contacts and pick somebody that you haven't talked to in a long time. Pick up the phone and say 'Merry Christmas'."

Brendan added that he and his family raise a glass every Christmas Day to remember their loved ones who are no longer with them.

He told the RTE Guide: "Whether it's my mum, or my son, or [his wife] Jenny's dad, there is not a Christmas that goes by where we don't raise a glass to those who aren't here and it's a horribly melancholy moment.

"We think about them all the time, but it is that particularly stark thing at Christmas where your mam is not sitting across from you at the table.

"I really understand that Christmas is a wonderful time, it really is, but for so many people they are not looking forward to it. It is very hard."

When it comes to his Christmas Day plans, this year Brendan and wife Jenny will be home in Dublin.

The couple are usually based in Florida but always come home to Ireland for the holidays to be with their family.

"No matter what happens for me any year, Christmas just seems to be magic," Brendan said.

"You know that once you get to Christmas everything is going to be okay."

Brendan and Jenny will meet up with family on Christmas morning for breakfast before "everybody goes and does their own thing" for the day.

The family will then meet up again that evening to watch Mrs Brown's Boys together.

He said: "We have a pyjama party on Christmas night. All the family, any cast and crew that are about.

"They all get into their pyjamas, and they come and watch Mrs Brown's Boys in our house with a few drinks. For us, it is the first time we have seen it."

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