While the John Lewis Christmas advert touched our hearts around the country, when it was released last week, one family was so inspired they are now searching for a lonely old person to spend Christmas day with them.
Ceri Camilleri, 25, and her family are hoping to spread some festive cheer to an elderly person who would otherwise face spending the day on their own, and have posted an invitation to their home in Cardiff on Gumtree.
Ms Camilleri said she had thought about ‘adopting a grandparent’ for Christmas before, but after seeing the John Lewis advert this year; she decided posting the appeal online would be the best way to reach out.
After seeing the John Lewis advert, I just felt really sad about it,’ Ceri said
‘We thought about adopting a grandparent but when I spoke to my partner about it we decided to put something online.’
The Camilleris are offering to feed, transport and ‘have a good old chin wag’ with the person who they invite, but warns Christmas at their house can be ‘manic’.
The Gumtree advert says: ‘Are you going to be alone this Christmas?
‘My family and I would love to invite an elderly lonely person to our home for Christmas. We only wish we could invite everyone.
‘We will arrange transport to collect you from your home to come and spend a few hours with us, eating drinking and having a good old chin wag!!’
Ceri added: ‘My mum is a chef, so we will be having a turkey dinner with pork.’
The Camilleris are hoping that their ‘honorary family member’ will make this Christmas even more special, as they have no elderly relatives themselves.
‘It will be nice for us as a family because we don’t have any elderly relatives
‘My daughter Maddison is three, so I think it will be extra special for her to have someone else there for Christmas.
‘Usually, we have our big Christmas lunch, and then we watch all the Christmas telly, and play a few games. It can be quite manic. There are normally five of us for Christmas.’
The advert has not had any responses yet, but Ceri says she has received a lot of support so far.
‘No one has got in touch to say they want to come to Christmas yet, but hopefully they will. It’s hard to know the best way to reach out.
‘I suppose we will have to decide on a first come first serve basis. But I would like the person to be elderly, preferably over 65, and I will probably try and arrange a meeting with them before hand to sit down and have a chat.’
Ceri’s advert assures applicants that the family are not ‘nutters’.
She says: ‘We just want to make someone feel a part of a family this Christmas (especially those who are otherwise alone).
‘We are all about spreading a bit of festive spirit and making sure someone has a hot meal and heating on this special day.’
This year’s John Lewis advert is in association with Age UK. It tells the story of a young girl trying to send a message to a lonely man on the moon.
The two-minute production – which cost £1million to produce with a further £6million being spent on booking TV slots – begins with a little girl called Lily using a telescope to spy on an old man, who lives alone on the moon. She tries desperately to send him a message but all her efforts fail, while he remains unaware that anyone cares about him and sits alone on a bench, wistfully staring up at the Earth.
Eventually, on Christmas morning, a present arrives from the sky, carried by party balloons, and the elderly man un-wraps it to reveal a vintage telescope.
He uses it to spot Lily and, realising that someone cares about him, his eyes fill with tears.
As with previous John Lewis adverts, this one follows the same pattern of having tear-jerking music in the background, in the form of a cover of Oasis song Half the World Away.