No-one who has been reading this blog for any length of time can have any doubt that my grandma was (and still is) one of my great heroines. She was a woman who radiated goodness and common sense. This story of her kindness was from before I was born and I was told it by the father of a friend.
This gentleman was called John Broadhurst and when he was a little boy his family lived in the same village as my grandparents. My grandparents had a hard life but the Broadhurst family was in abject poverty. Their father had walked out on his family of six children and their mother struggled to bring them up. Just keeping them fed and clothed was a struggle.
One Christmas morning John was out in the village and he saw my grandmother who asked him if Father Christmas had been. No, said John. Father Christmas didn't come to their house.
My dear, sweet grandmother said, "Well, John, You've just solved a mystery for me. He came to our house and he left an extra stocking and I really didn't know who it was for. It must have been meant for you." So saying she went into the house and came out with a stocking containing an orange, a ball, some chocolate, a sugar mouse and a threepenny bit and John said his thank you and dashed home with his precious stocking.
None of those things was commonplace in households like my grandparents. There would have been no extra stocking. My grandmother looked at a small boy who had no Christmas stocking and gave him her own.