It has now really started! Christmas is here. The first family landmark has passed.

The festivities have truly begun. Our family outing to the Everyman pantomime has taken place.

Mrs Light and I, her brother Will Crawford and his wife Jackie go every year.

Our average age is over seventy but it is with childlike enthusiasm we head for Cheltenham.

Our routine is always the same.

We arrange to leave early, we must be in our seats before Tweedy starts his pre-performance ramble around the auditorium.

Before the curtain goes up the star of the show has already built a fine relationship with the audience.

No one, wherever they sit is left out.

The magical man with his hat and toy iron has charmed everyone before the performance has properly started.

Part of the joy of Christmas is tradition and that is the key word that describes the Cheltenham panto.

It embraces the best of our childhood pantomimes, being a show for everyone.

Genuine and totally wholesome, it is far removed from the pseudo realism of Love Island or I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Of course the plot will creak a bit but who cares.

It is a show for every member of the family.

Is this not what is wanted at Christmas time?

It is a family season and the more family occasions the better.

Watching Tweedy reminds us of that other splendid family occasion when we all go to Gifford’s Circus, another time of total joy.

Too many youngsters these days sit in front of TV screens playing games that neither stretch their intellect nor enrich their imagination.

Too often they do this in solitary state.

Going to the pantomime of the circus is a true rite of passage for anyone growing up.

You can laugh, groan, sing or cheer with those around you, enjoying bountiful family fun.

In addition you can see Tweedy at his best.

Happy and sat at the same time, hilarious and hopeless in turn he embodies the true spirit of all our Christmases.

We are truly lucky to have him living and working among us.

Seeing him in pantomime makes the wait for summer and the gorgeous Gifford’s Circus almost bearable.

lTickets are on sale now for Aladdin starring starring Tweedy.