A YOUNG Chard couple got more than they bargained over the festive period when they received the best present imaginable on Christmas Day.

Lacie Marie Clarke was born at 6.55am on December 25 at Musgrove Park Hospital, weighing 10lb 2oz, to proud parents Josie Weeks, 19, and Matt Clarke, 22, of Millfield.

The excitement of awaiting the arrival of their first baby only inc-reased for the couple as the big day approached.

Josie, who works as a ward clerk at Chard Hospital, said: “She was a week late, and I think it was a couple of days after the due date that I started to realise she could be born on Christmas Day.

“We were joking with the midwife about it.

“We didn’t know whether the baby was a boy or a girl – we wanted it to be a surprise – so there have been a lot of jokes among family and friends that she was born on the only day the shops aren’t open.

“We and everyone else are over the moon that she’s here.

“She’s absolutely gorgeous.

“We had to change our Christmas plans, but it wasn’t too bad – we were just going to spend the day with family, so we pushed it back a couple of days.”

The new family is spending some quality time at the home of Josie’s parents, Gwyn and Marie Weeks, at South Somerset Holiday Park in Howley before heading back to their own home in Chard.

Matt, who will return to work at Tesco in the town in a week’s time, is delighted with the new addition to the family.

He said: “I couldn’t be happier about being a new dad and I don’t mind about the timing – that’s absolutely fine.

“We didn’t know whether she’d be born on Christmas Eve, Christmas day or Boxing Day, but we’re just so happy she’s here.”