Dad’s The Word Column: Looking forward to Christmas and beyond

Former MK Citizen reporter and married dad of two, Gareth Ellis, discusses how Christmas is coming earlier and why we should be hopeful for 2021.

This year Jess and I have booked to take the kids to two different Christmassy attractions – Covid permitting.

At the start of December, we’re off to see Santa at Frosts, which we’re mega excited about, and then
we’re off to see the Christmas lights at Waddesdon Manor – two things we’ve never done before.

Of course, making these plans before December isn’t anything strange – it’s the fact we had to book them both in August that baffles me.

In the last few years, I’ve noticed that Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier but when you have children it’s a whole new ball game.

Before it was ‘want to go to London and see the lights tomorrow?’

Now it’s ‘Gareth, it’s August, shall we look at what Christmas things we can do?’

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and I’m one of those who will start blasting Christmas songs and wearing garish jumpers from December 1 – but no earlier.

The reason? I’ve always loved Christmas, but I think to start celebrating it before December makes the build-up longer, which in turn makes the actual day seem so short and sudden.

Now Rupert is creeping towards that age where he will embrace and enjoy Christmas, I want him to place special importance on the day, and not pique his interest too early.

Soon we’ll all be starting another year and I hope for all of those reading this that it brings you something so much better than 2020 did.

In all honesty the past year has been full of ups and downs. Most notably our daughter Emilia completed our family in May, then I was made redundant in October, only for that to open the door to some exciting freelance opportunities.

See what I mean about ups and downs.

The pandemic may have robbed us of seeing our friends and family as much as we wanted, and I feel so terribly for those who lost those they loved to Coronavirus. I don’t wish that on anybody.

For me, I took the positives it gave me and my little family unit. I was able to spend so much time with my wife and our two children and if 2021 can give me that same gift – minus the pandemic – then I’ll be a happy man.

Gareth writes a regular blog at and you can follow him on Instagram @dads_the_word_blog

This feature was published in the December 2020 + January 2021 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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