Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine have opened up on celebrating Christmas with their autistic children.
The Take Me Out host and his model partner are parents to five-year-old twins Penelope and Leo.
The children were diagnosed with autism eighteen months ago, a condition that affects communication and behaviour.
Paddy has revealed the family have put up their first Christmas tree in five years after forgoing decorations due to their twins getting ‘overwhelmed’.
Sharing a snap to social media showing their huge tree outside of their home, Paddy wrote: Merry Christmas everyone! Trees up…in the garden, not the house.
“The little uns are more relaxed with it outside and after a 5 year wait I finally get to go big time with the lights!!!! (sic).”
About 700,000 people in the UK are autistic, according to the National Autistic Society.
Last Christmas, Christine revealed the lights on the tree unsettled the twins so the family never put one up.
This year, however, Christine said she and Paddy have learned how to help them enjoy the festivities more and have placed a tree in the garden.
She told the Sunday Mirror: “I’m excited because the children understand this time of year a bit more. And we know about how to deal with their style of Christmas.
“You get excited and think, ‘I’ll buy that and that,’ but we can’t go over the top. Less is more with our children, we keep it quiet for them. We don’t have a tree in the house, but we have one in the garden.”
Christine explained that by having the tree in their garden is means her children can “close the door on that when they’ve had enough”.
Christine married soon-to-be Top Gear host Paddy in 2011 and the couple have a third child, two-year-old daughter Felicity.
Felicity is also showing signs of autism. Christine, 30, admitted she becomes downhearted when she sees other families’ Christmas trees on social media but said: “Inside our house, everything is completely normal”.
She added: “But instead of feeling low we just think, ‘What’s the point in a tree that might upset them?’ Hopefully next year we might put one up for a couple of days.”
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