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A 78-year-old man spent Christmas alone for 20 years. The holiday spirit was soon at his door

Remembering the lonely on Christmas Day
Remembering the lonely on Christmas Day 02:36

On "BBC Breakfast", 78-year-old Terrence admitted, it's not easy celebrating the holidays alone. 

"Since my mother passed 20 years ago, I've had every Christmas on my own. And you do feel it very much," he said with his voice breaking. 

 "You'd make yourself a sandwich, and you'd just, well, watch TV," Terrence said. 

"If you're out there and you can help Terrence get a Christmas tree, decorate your house - would you like that?" the BBC's Dan Walker asked. 

After Terrence said yes, Walker said "we'll sort that for you to make sure this Christmas is a great one."

A 74-year-old man said on "BBC Breakfast" that he had spent Christmas alone since his mother died 20 years ago. CBS News

The response came quickly.

Walker arrived at Terrence's door, saying he is "Dan Walker from the telly." 

"It broke our hearts today when you said Christmas Day for you was making a sandwich for yourself," Walker said.

"It was like that for many years," Terrence said

"And you're not the only one, are you?" Walker asked.

"No, I'm not," Terrence said.

Terrence said on "BBC Breakfast" that he spent Christmas alone for 20 years.  CBS News

"And there are a lot of people from older generations, lots of people are lonely for Christmas," Walker said.

"Yeah, and it shouldn't be, it shouldn't be," Terrence said. 

"We said on air you didn't have a Christmas tree," Walker said. 

"No," Terrence said.

"Which we promised to sort out for you," Walker said. 

"Yes," Terrence said. 

Walker opened the front door, and moments later, the holiday spirit was at the door:  Students from a local college came bearing gifts.

The Oldham College Choir sang to Terrence. CBS News

As they asked how Terrence was doing and told him good evening, he choked up. "Oh it looks wonderful," he said. "They've done things for me, and it's wonderful, isn't it?"

Then they did even more: The choir from Oldham College sang "Silent Night" as Terrence sang along. 

This Christmas, Terrence says, he won't be alone. 

A reminder small acts of kindness can be the biggest gift this holiday season.

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