John Travolta: ‘My first Christmas without Kelly’

Still grieving for his beloved wife, the Grease star us focusing on his kids
Loading the player...

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – but for John Travolta, this festive season will be tinged with sadness.

WATCH: John Travolta and Kelly Preston spread Christmas cheer with their kids

Five months after his beloved wife, Kelly Preston, lost her brave battle with breast cancer, sources tell New Idea that the grieving actor is going above and beyond to make Christmas Day extra special for their kids, Ella, 20, and Benjamin, 10.

“It’s going to be a tough time for all three of them,” explains a close family friend. “Kelly loved the holidays …She filled the house with so much laughter.”

Despite Kelly and John’s eldest son Jett, tragically dying of a seizure at age 16 during a Christmas family vacation to the Bahamas in January 2009, the devoted mother and wife always tried to make Christmas memorable.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston
This year will be John’s first year without Kelly. (Credit: Getty)

“She used to take care of everything – decorating, gifts, Christmas dinner,” tells a second source, who adds that most of all, “it’s Kelly’s presence, her energy and the excitement she had about the holidays that will be missed.”

Last Christmas, the tight foursome went to the festive Polar Express ice sculpture exhibit in Florida, where Kelly said they all had “so much fun” sledding.

She also shared a cute video on Instagram of the family opening their presents in co-ordinated pyjamas. In the clip, Kelly, who was in the midst of her cancer fight, could be seen blowing a kiss to the camera while wearing a Santa hat.

While John isn’t looking forward to spending the holidays without Kelly, he’s digging deep for Ella and Ben’s sake.

John Travolta family
John is staying strong for the sake of his kids. (Credit: Instagram)

“He’s planned some special surprises,” adds the friend. “He’s going to show some home movies, make tie-dye shirts and bake cookies … things that Kelly would have done were she still with us.

“John is a great dad and a great cheerleader. It’s going to be hard, but it’s about staying strong for Ella and Ben. It’s what Kelly would have wanted.

“He just wants to spend the day honouring their mum and keeping her memory alive.”

In July, John shocked the world when he announced that his wife of 28 years had died, aged 57. The Jerry Maguire actress had been seeking treatment for two years, but chose to keep her diagnosis private.

Kelly Preston
John honoured his wife’s memory with a heartbreaking Instagram post. (Credit: Instagram)

“She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many,” John wrote on Instagram.

“Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children … But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead.”

The Grease star was dealt another tragic blow in October, when his nephew, Sam Travolta Jr died. Sam was the son of John’s oldest brother and was reportedly quite close to him.

For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea. On sale now!

new idea
(Credit: New Idea)

Related stories