In a last-ditch effort to find someone — anyone — to spend Christmas with him, 85-year-old James Gray turned to the want ads.
"I think the last time I saw someone on Christmas Day was when I saw my accountant about 10 years ago," he told the Post.
"I just want to find someone in time," James said. "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. I just had smoked salmon and prawns on my own last year and I had to put up with it. This time of year is so hard if you are old and alone because it feels like everybody else around you is enjoying themselves."
"It is so touching to me, after all these years alone, to see this response from people," he was quoted as saying. "I'm so appreciative of the offers. I should have done this years ago."
"I did not get a single card for my birthday in August, but I just had to put up with it," he said.
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
If ever a sign were needed that James Gray has taken over my life... pic.twitter.com/arUq6Jgaai
— Niall (@Niall_IrishPost) December 18, 2013
— Malcolm McNally (@MalcolmMcNally) December 17, 2013