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Richard Branson on Christmas, grandbabies and the gift of giving

As Christmas nears,  Virgin Founder, Richard Branson tells Virgin Experience Days what he is most looking forward to about Christmas…

I love the lead up to Christmas. Festive cheer fills the world, in anticipation that something wonderful is about to happen.

And that’s exactly what happened last year, when just days before the big day, my daughter Holly gave birth to twins, Etta and Artie. Born early, they were an extra special Christmas gift for me and my wife Joan – our first grandchildren. Then in February, our son, Sam and his wife Bellie welcomed baby girl, Eva Deia, to our growing family. It really was the most wonderful time of the year.


Now the babies are a year older – full of personality, curiosity and awareness – we’re all once again excited for the holidays. Joan and I are preparing our house on Moskito Island to show Etta, Artie and Eva Deia a very special first Christmas.


The festive season has always been a joyous time for my family. When Holly and Sam were growing up, yours truly would often dress as Santa Claus and arrive in true BVI-style on a jet ski or paddle board to give out presents to local kids. I might have to pull out the suit again this year and give the grandbabies a Caribbean Christmas treat.

Father Christmas and his Elf deliver presents on Necker
Father Christmas and his Elf deliver presents on Necker

In my opinion, there’s nothing quite like the gift of giving, which – apart from spending quality time with my family – is the reason why I look forward to Christmas so much. When you see first-hand the impact it can have and the joy it brings, giving becomes the best feeling in the world.

It’s for this reason that we started Virgin Experience Days in 2001. An online platform full of once-in-a-lifetime gifts, Virgin Experience Days makes giving easy, enjoyable and rewarding. This year they’ll be teaming up with Virgin Unite, to give customers the option of donating to charity in someone else’s name – making the gift of giving so much more worthwhile and impactful.

As the age-old adage goes, it’s better to give than it is to receive. We should all give more – particularly of our time and energy – and not just at Christmas time.


Richard Branson loves to blog, and does so every weekday on Read more and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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