Dying widower leaves 14 Christmas gifts for her neighbor’s two-year-old child: a tale to last for years

The neighbor’s daughter had come to deliver something on her dad’s behalf one Monday evening in December, and the man who heard the knock on the door was startled. She was thanked, and he then gave his wife the box. When they opened it, they were overcome with emotion and couldn’t control  their emotions.

It was unknown to Owen and Caroline Williams what the cosmos had in store for them and their lovely family. It all started when the couple relocated to Barry, a seaside town in the Vale of Glamorgan region of southeast Wales.

A few days later, they got to know their elderly neighbor Ken Watson, who lived next door. The Williamses would continue to recall and treasure this encounter for the rest of their lives, and it was anything but a routine or dull meeting.

A Man with Many Interests

When Ken, then 83, was building scaffolding in front of his house and jumping on top of a 20-foot ladder, Owen was perplexed. He was pleasantly surprised to see that Ken had many other interesting interests besides pogo-hopping on a tall ladder.

At first, Owen believed it was a garbage bag, but when he showed it to his wife inside, he was astounded by what he saw.

The Williamses eventually made friends with their elderly neighbor, who was adorably spry and had experience in a wide range of fields. Ken was a former seaman, salvage diver, baker, and carpenter, according to Owen. He also loved playing the accordion and was a big fan of opera and classical music.

He liked the small girl very much

But beneath his upbeat exterior sat a guy who was in deep sorrow after losing his wife Beryl in February 2012. Ken started to feel lonely after saying goodbye to his beloved partner because he had no grandchildren to keep him company.

He took up a number of activities to pass the time during the winter months of his life, including skydiving, wing-walking, and parachute jumping at the age of 85. Ken, though, also genuinely loved watching Cadi Williams, the infant daughter of Owen and Caroline, grow up.

Although Cadi was too little to recall her older buddy, Ken, who had once worked at and successfully run his family’s Cardiff bakery business, formed a close and lasting friendship with the small girl and her parents. With each passing day, his love for her grew.

Santa that children love

Then, in October 2018, Ken went suddenly, shattering the lives of his family, friends, and neighbors for all time. Owen, his 80-year-old neighbor, possessed many amazing qualities. He was used to watching Ken dress up as Santa Claus and deliver heartwarming gifts to the neighborhood kids.

The Cymru resident then discovered that Ken had purchased the neighborhood toy store in order to provide the kids sweet holiday gifts. Even better, he had given tiny Cadi a massive stuffed lion as a surprise. His unexpected death had left a gaping hole that would never be repaired. for the holiday season.

A unexpected Visitor

On the Monday night before Christmas, Owen’s conversation was cut short by a knock at the door. When he responded, he was shocked to see Jenny, Ken’s daughter, holding a sizable bag. He couldn’t believe his eyes, though, when he showed it to his wife inside. He Owen remembered that at first he believed it was a trash bag:

“Our elderly neighbour passed away recently. His daughter popped round a few moments ago clutching a large plastic sack. In the sack were all the Christmas presents he’d bought for *our* daughter for the next thirteen years.”

Opening One Present

Owen promptly rectified himself and said that the package contained fourteen gifts, one for Cadi each year until 2032. “He always told us he’d live till he was 100 years old, so these gifts would have taken him up to our little girl’s 16th Christmas,” Owen added.

There was just one tiny issue: The Williamses unwrapped one gift, a children’s book by Tomi Ungerer titled “Christmas Eve at the Mellops,” since they couldn’t help themselves from wanting to discover what was inside. The gifts weren’t categorized by year or age by Ken.

Following Twitter’s Suggestions

Owen took to Twitter in order to conduct a quick survey because he was unable to decide whether it would be better to open all of the presents at once or to take one at a time. In the end, he made the decision to take into consideration the recommendations of the vast majority of internet users who stated that only one gift should be unwrapped each year.

“They weren’t for me, after all. My wife’s curiosity got the better of her with one gift, but now Twitter has spoken, so we’ll abide by the internet’s collective wisdom!”

Owen and Caroline came to a consensus that they would give Cadi one item for Christmas and then take a picture of her opening it and post it on Twitter. The parents of the child thought that by taking this action, their daughter would have the opportunity to know a man who loved and adore her for as long as he knew her.

“So we will create this familial Christmas tradition all about this elderly gentleman who was very kind to her once upon a time, who she will never know, only through stories.”

Jenny, Ken’s daughter, said that she was the one who found the Christmas presents hidden away and that she did it by accident while she was cleaning. In the meantime, the Williams family revealed that they had no knowledge their 87-year-old neighbor had purchased Christmas treats for their daughter.

“It’s difficult describing it because it was so unexpected. I don’t know how long he put them away whether it was over the last two years or whether he bought them towards the end of his life.”

Although it was certain that the Williams family will miss their kind and generous old neighbor in the years to come, they were content that they had the opportunity to get to know him and appreciate his kind nature. Owen mentioned that he intended to write his daughter a holiday story about the custom of opening gifts.

Since 2018, tiny Cadi has loved unwrapping her Christmas presents, and her father’s Twitter thread has gotten a ton of support from online users. According to Owen, he received calls from various media groups and others who expressed their surprise at how close Ken’s family was to him. He shared:

“The thing that stands out to me is how few people know their neighbors. People are saying, ‘That’s so lovely. I don’t even know my neighbors.’ This Christmas, take your neighbors a bottle of wine or a small gift, a token. Just say, ‘Hi.’ You can open a new world like we did.”