READ: Single mum’s heartbreaking open letter about Christmas goes viral

“I sat here and wrapped a present that I bought for myself from my son, which I will open on my own”


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Christmas is often described as the most wonderful time of the year.

But, for many, the 25th December can be an overwhelmingly lonely time - as one brave single mother has reminded us all.

Penning a very honest open letter, which she sent into RTE Radio One, the woman revealed that she has a 22-year-old son with severe learning difficulties.

In her letter, she explained that, every single year, she is forced to watch the people around her plan phenomenal Christmases with their children; they exchange gifts under the tree, before sitting down together for a festive feast.

Meanwhile, her son has no idea that it is Christmas - and she is forced to spend the holiday on her own, unwrapping a gift she bought herself from him.


Her letter, which was read out in full by an emotional Ryan Tubridy, said: "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.

“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 brought a present from my dog to my son."

However, while the woman paints a heartbreaking Christmas scene, she insists she doesn’t want sympathy.

Instead, she wants her letter to remind people everywhere to be grateful for the smaller things this festive season.

She said: “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."

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