Late singer George Michaels family are calling on people to say “I love you out loud”.

Their message comes as they prepare to spend the first Christmas without Michael, who died last Christmas Day at 53, reports mirror.co.uk.

His sisters Melanie and Yioda and their father Jack said in a statement: “This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss.

“Christmas is not always easy, life isn’t perfect and families are complicated. So if you can, in his memory this year, take a moment and a deep breath and say those ‘I love yous’ out loud.”

The “Careless whisper” and “Last Christmas” star, who was nicknamed Yog, was found dead at home in Goring-in-Thames, Oxfordshire, a year ago.

The past week has seen the mansion turned into a shrine as fans pay tribute with flowers, memorabilia and candles.

The star’s family admitted it has been a “challenge” to hear his songs when they miss him so desperately.

They added: “This year has been a series of tough challenges for those of us close and loyal to Yog, not least steeling ourselves this month to hear Last Christmas and December Song streaming out of shops, cars and radios, as it has done for decades, knowing he’s no longer here with us, missing him.

“We are at ‘that age’ and realise many of you will have had difficult losses too.

“Yog, who loved Christmas and always hoped it would snow, would want each of you that ­admired and loved him (yes – he knows you did!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.

“Yog shared his music with all of us and many of you connected deeply with his words. Have a good Christmas everyone. And as our darling Yog would say… take care.”