Christmas Day is traditionally spent around loved ones, but what about those who have nowhere to go?
For most people, family gatherings during the festive seasons are rarely stress-free. For others Christmas is a loud reminder of a departed companion, relative or friend.
A lonely widower in Germany, has received hundreds of invites to Christmas dinner after leaving a note at his local supermarket. The pensioner, wrote in German, asking if anyone had a spare seat for him at their table, Stuttgarter Nachrichten reported.
“Where does a lonely pensioner and widower find a place in a small group for Christmas?” His note read.
By a coincidence, his note was discovered by a local woman, Lisa. The 27-year-old was so “touched” by his plea, she photographed his note and posted the image to her Facebook page.
The image has now been shared almost 7,000 times.
Overnight, Lisa received hundreds of requests from Facebook members who wanted to invite the man to their Christmas dinner. She coordinated with the pensioner and gave his phone number to those people she thought were serious.
“I never expected that there would be so many responses,” she said, Stuttgarter Nachrichten reported.
The local woman told the German newspaper that she posted the image to her Facebook page because she was worried nobody would notice.
Supermarket employees have now taken down the note due to its viral response. Lisa has also finished her search, so the elderly man isn’t overwhelmed by all the calls.
Lisa said the man was, “very touched and was pleased that so many people responded.”
It’s a heartwarming response at a time of year that leaves many people out in the cold.
Millions of people spend Christmas alone each year, with the Mirror reporting in 2015 that 4 million people in the UK would be sitting down to Christmas lunch solo.
Over 75s were the most likely to be alone on Christmas, with many admitting they hadn’t been invited to a celebration or didn’t want to be a burden to their families.