While most of the nation will be giddy with delight at putting up their Christmas decorations, one family won’t be hauling a tree into their front room this year.
That family is the McGuinesses, where Paddy and wife Christine have decided not to put up a Christmas tree.
Christine took to Instagram to explain her decision, and the sad reasons why.
In a lengthy post, the model admitted that last year, the Christmas tree was too much for their twins, Leo and Penelope, to handle.
Leo and Penelope had recently been diagnosed with autism, and to save them from any difficulties this year Christine has decided to keep things simple.
She posted a video of the family’s Christmas stockings, alongside a long caption which read: “Daddy, Mummy, Leon, Penelope, Felicity. I think this is enough for our Christmas decorations, I’m nervous about putting a tree up, I don’t think I’m going too.”
“Last year was the most upsetting Christmas we’ve had, we had just been told our twins had autism and we felt very out of our depth.
“Christmas massively affects the twins behaviour. They were extremely anxious and unsettled. The Christmas lights, trees, decorations and music… it was all too much.”
“It was very over stimulating and with so much change everywhere it was quite frightening for our children who were pretty much non-verbal, they had no understanding of what was going on.”
However, the upbeat mum went on to talk about how the family would still have a wonderful time, and finished her post with: “I’m feeling confident we will have a happy Christmas this year.. With a lot less decorations!
“Less is more for our children, they wouldn’t care if they got 1 present or 10 and that is a quality you can’t buy.”
Fans were quick to flood the posts with messages of support, with one fan writing: “Thanks for educating us all a little bit more about autisim.”
In the past, Paddy has explained that parenting autistic children could feel “like you’re drowning.”
And the couple have regularly made posts thanking their followers for their support.