Here's a story that reads a bit like a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie. But it's real, so no eye-rolling is allowed, OK?
James Gray was feeling a little down. With nobody to spend the holidays with for the 10th year in a row, the 85-year-old Irishman living in London placed an ad in the newspaper seeing if anybody was willing to hang out with him.
The ad drew only one response, from a person who later backed out, Gawker reports.
Fortunately, things took a happier turn once the Irish Post ran a feature story on Gray and his quest for company.
Via the Irish Post:
“I just want to find someone in time,” he said.
“I am used to the loneliness, but I do not want it to be the same this year."
“I think there must be quite a few lonely people around and I am on my own, so it would make sense I think if someone came here for Christmas lunch."
A short time later, Gray received a slew of replies from folks around the world who would be more than happy to spend the holidays with the retired butler.
Some of the hundreds of cards that have arrived from around the world for lonely Irish pensioner James Gray pic.twitter.com/aQBKoNBDb1— The Irish Post (@theirishpost) December 17, 2013
It's unclear exactly who Gray will be spending the holidays with, but he certainly has plenty of choices.
Gray called the response "overwhelming,” according to the Irish Post. Among those who wrote Gray with tidings of good cheer was a class of schoolchildren.
“When I put the advertisement in, I thought I might get a couple of quick calls, but now I can see that all these people have gone to the trouble of writing, which I could never have expected," he told the paper.
“I suppose by having my photograph out there people are thinking ‘Look at this poor old chap, he has taken the courage.'
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter at @mikekrumboltz.