Merry Christmas from The Early Hour

Four months in, founder and editor Annie Ridout wishes all readers a happy Christmas – or happy holiday – and pretends she’s the Queen by writing a (brief) Christmas Day speech…

The bauble-obsessed girl above is my 18-month-old daughter, Joni. When she was born the June before last, my life changed in many ways – notably, I stopped working full time in corporate copywriting and started up The Early Hour.

Like many parents, I was looking for flexibility and plenty of time with my child, while also keeping my brain active and stimulated. So after writing articles for other parenting magazines for a while, I decided to set up my own.

The main aims were: to welcome both mums AND dads. There are so many great mum blogs – and I love reading them – but not so many that welcome dads too. If we want sexual equality, we need to encourage dads to be active parents, and to celebrate the ones who already are.

The same goes for cultural, racial, religious, ability differences. Everyone has a voice but not everyone has a platform. By interviewing people from all different backgrounds, with a variety of beliefs, The Early Hour can, hopefully, become a truly inclusive space.

Parenting can be joyful, enlightening, magical and full of love… but it can also be lonely and testing. By publishing an article each morning at 5am, we hope to offer a little something for you – the parent – to enjoy reading, and that will help you feel connected to the wider world.

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas today, or just enjoying a few days off work, we hope you have a smashing break. Now excuse me while I prise a glass Christmas tree decoration from Joni’s small hands before yet another one smashes on the floor…

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