The ideal Christmas present for a lonely elderly man, aged 87, who has lost his spouse.

A reader shares how the holiday became memorable through the exchange of traditions and a joyful reunion.

I recently received the greatest Christmas present of my life (Letters, 26 December). In March, I had the pleasure of hosting a Ukrainian family consisting of a mother, father, and their 12-year-old daughter. Being an 87-year-old widower with spare rooms, I welcomed them into my home. In August, the father secured a full-time job, so they had to move to the Midlands.

In October, they reached out to me, expressing their desire to visit again. On 23 December, they arrived with another Ukrainian couple and their five-year-old child. Over the course of three days, we shared and explored each other’s Christmas customs, and it all culminated with a feast featuring a roast venison haunch that I had never prepared before.

This Christmas lunch was an uproarious celebration filled with laughter, translation challenges, and unforgettable moments. Sadly, they departed on Boxing Day.

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