For many people, Christmas can be a difficult time and a lonely time. Yesterday, we reported on this woman who asked strangers to adopt her and her son for the holidays.
Today, we’ve heard of another story which really is heartbreaking.
A single mother wrote a letter to RTÉ Radio One detailing how she spends Christmas and the struggles she is facing.
Ryan Tubridy read out the letter, the author of which remains nameless, and it will make you appreciate the little things in life.
She wrote: “I’m a single parent, I’ve a son with learning difficulties. He would not know Christmas if Santa’s sleigh ran over him.
“When all I see is happy excited children, and the parents giving out about what they all want, all I think is ‘aren’t you lucky?’
“I always had a great family Christmas so the tradition is well instilled in me.
“But will I tell you what I did yesterday? I had to look in the toddlers’ toy department for a noisy yoke that my 22-year-old son might like.
“I’ve been doing this for 22 years. No computers, no games, no books. Just basically a rattle if it makes the right noise.”
She explained that she buys herself a present from her son every year.
“So I sat here and wrapped a present that I bought for myself from my son, which I will open on my own. Surprise. I even bought a present from my dog to my son.”
“I’m not a poor mouth giving out. Sometimes, well a lot of the time, parents should be thankful for what they have.
“Don’t get into debt over Christmas, be thankful your child will talk to you. Feel lucky that you can enjoy that smile of Santa arriving on Christmas morning.
“I never had those things with my child. We struggle to get through this time of year but we do.
“It’s just a little but harder when you’re on your own. Christmas day is not really our day. But the pressure to have the Christmas day which is sold to us in the movies and the ads is too much pressure.”