The Colorado man is currently serving a life sentence for killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters

By Steve Helling
December 24, 2020 10:59 AM
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The holidays are rapidly approaching, but Chris Watts won't be celebrating them.

Watts, who murdered his pregnant wife and two daughters in 2018, will spend Christmas and the New Year in protective custody in a Wisconsin prison -- and a source who regularly speaks to him in prison tells PEOPLE that Watts is dreading the upcoming holidays.

"He doesn't like talking about his life before prison," says the source, "but he has said that he used to be a huge fan of Christmas: decorating the house, spending time with family. And he knows 100% that it'll never happen again, and that it's his own fault. He's in a hell of his own making."

"The prison has a 'Christmas dinner,' but it's basically bland turkey and potatoes," the jail source continues. "It's not exactly the feast you'd imagine for Christmas. In a sense, that's more depressing, because it reminds the inmates that it's Christmas and that they're getting an inferior copy of the holiday."

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On August 13, 2018, Watts strangled his pregnant wife, Shanann, in their Colorado home. Then he drove her body to a job site at the oil company where he worked. He buried his wife's body and then smothered his daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. After pleading guilty to the murders, he received a life sentence.

Authorities said Watts committed the murders because he was having an affair with a co-worker who thought he was already separated. In the days before the killings, Shanann Watts reached out to a friend and shared her growing concerns about her marriage — but never suspected her life was in danger.

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Chris Watts, at left, with Shanann Watts

Watts, now 35, has a Bible and several family photos in his cell. Other than that, he will spend his time corresponding with a handful of penpals -- mostly women who wrote to him after he was sentenced. The source tells PEOPLE he spends a lot of time reading and writing letters.

"He'll write his penpals this season, and they're sending him notes, as well," says the source. "It's literally all he can do at this point. He hates the holidays."