Because nobody should be alone for the holidays.

The holidays are meant to be a time of joy, but for many, they can be a triggering period filled with big feelings and hard memories.

That’s why no one should be alone over the holidays, but still, many people out there are lonely due to life circumstances. Luckily for one man in the UK, a young woman decided to change that for him one Christmas.

An Unexpected Dinner

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In 2017, a 22-year-old woman named Ellie Walker met an 86-year-old man named Edwin Holmes at work. She had been employed at a supermarket for the past three years and Holmes would come in to chat to the staff. However, when Walker learned that Holmes was going to spend the holidays alone, she knew she had to do something. So she invited him to dinner.

“He is without a shadow of a doubt my favorite customer,” she told The Sun. “He is the cutest man and so chatty. I thought if it was my granddad and he was alone I would want someone to talk to him.”

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According to the article, Holmes’ wife passed away in 2006 after 45 years of marriage. He had a daughter and two grandchildren, but the family moved to Australia, leaving Holmes with no family in the country. Being invited to dinner was a big deal.

A Date to Remember

Walker recalls Holmes showing up in a nice suit with flowers and being “as nervous as a schoolboy.” He said it was his first date in 55 years, which made the young woman tear up.

“It made me cry because I could see how much it meant to him,” she added. “For me it’s the most important part of my job to speak with customers and see how their day is going.”

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“The dinner made me very happy as it was unexpected and I had very pleasant company,” Holmes told the publication. “As for the suit, it was my first date [in] about 55 years, and I got the flowers because I wasn’t going to go empty-handed.”

The pair sat down to a lovely Christmas dinner with items like Yorkshire puddings and bangers. But the best part about their hangout was that it was only the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

“I see him regularly now and we meet for coffee. It’s nice to be able to chat with him,” she added.

Giving the Gift of Time

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When Walker invited her customer to dinner, she was doing so because she didn’t want a nice person to be alone over the holidays. But she probably didn’t realize that by giving the gift of her time, she completely changed Christmas for a lonely man.

Not everyone has a village of friends and family members to lean on. Sometimes people can be alone in a new country, or perhaps their partner has passed. This could even be someone’s first holiday alone, which might be extra hard.

That’s why giving your time can make a huge difference. If you’re hosting a holiday dinner, consider expanding your guest list to someone who might not have a dinner to get to. Or, if you’ve got extra time on your hands, volunteer at a local retirement center. And if you do have loved ones who might not have anyone around at this time of year, maybe consider buying that plane ticket or figuring out a way to see them.

After all, everyone’s time is invaluable. But that’s exactly why it really is the best gift you can give another human being this holiday season.


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