The festive season is fast approaching - but it will be here even sooner for one poorly toddler.
For today is “Christmas Eve” for 18-month-old Bobby Baldwin, from Worsley Mesnes.
And tomorrow he will open his presents and enjoy the festivities with his family on “Christmas Day”.
Bobby’s parents Emma Doherty and John Baldwin have decided to bring forward the celebrations as the brave tot needs open heart surgery and will probably be in hospital on December 25.
Emma, 29, said: “We are going to do exactly what we would normally do. He will have Christmas pyjamas for Christmas Eve and we will wrap up his presents.
“He will have his breakfast and open his presents.
He misses out on so much and I can’t let him miss out on Christmas.Emma Doherty
“We want it to be a special day for him. There’s a chance he could be home from hospital, but I would rather give it him now in case he misses out on it.
“He misses out on so much and I can’t let him miss out on Christmas. We know Alder Hey will do their best for him, but it’s not the same as being at home.”
Bobby has three holes in his heart and was born with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries, which means blood cannot pump round his body because he has no pulmonary arteries.
He needs open heart surgery for the third time in his short life to address the narrowing on the left-hand side of his heart. His family will see a consultant today to find out when it will take place, but have been told it will be before Christmas.
So the Christmas tree and decorations have now taken pride of place at the family’s home on Gorman Walk ready for the early festivities.
Presents have been bought for Bobby - and he has already been given one after finding its hiding place.
After present-opening with his parents, the family will go to see his grandparents, Christine and Shaun Doherty, for Christmas lunch and will be joined by Emma’s sister, her partner and three children.
Emma said: “The family love it, it’s what they wanted to do.
“They are very supportive. I think they wanted to do something special for Bobby.”
It will be a special day for the whole family, not just little Bobby.
Emma said: “He is young and doesn’t really know a lot about Christmas yet, but it’s important for us to have it together as a family.
“We don’t know about next year, so we want to spend quality Christmas time together.”
People have contacted Emma via her Bobby’s Bravery Facebook page to say they would like to send Christmas cards.
And the family’s day has been boosted by an online fund-raising appeal set up by a friend of Emma’s, which raised more than £300.
Emma said: “If it wasn’t for the people of Wigan, we probably wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing.
“For some people it might be £5, but for us it means we can give him a good Christmas.”