Christmas celebrations will be 'upsetting' without Shandee
IF VICKI Blackburn could have it her way, she would pull the covers over her head and come out when Christmas is all over.
This will be the first Christmas Vicki will have to spend without her daughter, Shandee, who was murdered metres from her home while walking there from work earlier this year.
The Blackburn girls - Vicki, Shandee and her older sister Shannah - had a Christmas Eve tradition.
They would drink champagne while getting dolled up, then they would go out for a night of fun.
"There would be music blaring and usually there was a fight over who's ready to go and who's not," Mrs Blackburn said.
"Then we'd come home and we'd drag the Christmas ham and mango chutney out of the fridge and have a feed and open presents."
This year Mrs Blackburn and Shannah won't be spending Christmas day together.
"Shannah and I thought the best thing was to separate this Christmas," she said.
"It's just going to be too upsetting."
Instead, Shannah will be with friends in Hawaii and Mrs Blackburn will spend the day with her husband Paul Beardmore and his two young children.
"I might take a beer out to the cemetery and sit out with her for a little bit," she said.
"I think next year we will give some thought to a new tradition that Shandee would have thought was fun - we'll face that next year."
Understandably, she would rather not have to face Christmas this year.
"I thought that I had it all under control then I started to get Christmas cards arriving ... what do you sign? It can't be Paul, Vicki and the girls anymore."
"Little things like that can just be so confronting."
Shandee Blackburn was murdered in the early hours of February 9.
If you have any information please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.