It’s Christmas Eve and the big day is almost upon us. Tomorrow we’ll be ripping open small mountains of presents under the tree then raising our glasses before tucking into turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding.
Or at least most of us will be.
But what about those less fortunate who will be alone tomorrow or for whom circumstances dictate there will be nothing under a tree – that’s if they even have one.
While we look forward to the excesses of the festive season, there are plenty out there for whom Christmas is something to be endured not enjoyed.
In what have been some pretty harsh economic times of late, there will also be those who have lost their jobs and seen their personal circumstances change dramatically.
So at a time of year when it is all too easy to think only of ourselves, we have been overwhelmed by your generosity in contributing to our Don’t Let Them Be Lonely Christmas campaign.
We asked you to wrap an extra gift for the 30 people attending an Age UK Christmas meal for the most vulnerable and isolated elderly people in our communities. But you exceeded our wildest dreams because 120 presents were donated to our offices.
There were so many that Age UK Portsmouth staff dressed as elves and delivered them to other older people who might otherwise have had nothing to unwrap tomorrow. Thanks to your generosity and kindness, dozens of elderly people might just have had their faith in human nature restored.
We know from experience our readers never fail to respond when we ask for their help. But it is heartwarming to see such caring and a real sense of community spirit in action.
A big thank you to everybody who donated to the appeal and a merry Christmas to all of you.