For one pensioner, Christmas wasn’t just a time to look after your family, in fact, his whole neighbors would receive festive treats from him. And his Christmas presents didn’t end when he passed, oh no, 87-year-old Ken Watson had planned ahead for 14 years!
Ken Watson, 87, is the ultimate forward thinker. So much so, that he had planned Christmas presents for his neighbor’s children for the next 14 years after he passed. Owen and Caroline Williams were left in floods of tears when they discovered a huge sack full of wrapped presents for their 2-year-old daughter, Cadi.
Ken, who always claimed that he would live to be 100, sadly passed away back in October. While his daughter was emptying his home in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales she found a sack full of wrapped Christmas presents. Ken’s daughter took the presents round to Owen’s house.
She called around last night and she was on the doorstep clutching what looked like a rubbish bag and I just put two and two together and I just got 18. I assumed she wanted me to put out some rubbish for her. Instantly I said ‘yep, no problem’. Then she said ‘these are the gifts that dad has left for Cadi for Christmas’ and it just blindsided me.
Owen couldn’t believe that Ken Watson, their beloved neighbor, had planned presents for their 2-year-old daughter up until she became 16
I went into the kitchen and my wife was on FaceTime to her mum in Ireland and it was like Mary Poppins’ bag – I just kept pulling them out and they kept coming and coming.
Owen tweeted about the scenario which soon went viral. He created a Twitter poll to ask people what they should do with the presents. Should he open the gifts to see what’s inside and rewrap them? Or do a lucky dip until the year 2032?
The poll received over 42,000 votes with 69% believing he should do a lucky dip until the year 2032. So that’s exactly what they did. Owen explained that his neighbor was ‘a really good neighbor and a genuine, genuine man.’
When we first moved in he was up on the top of scaffolding; this was September 2015. He had two sections of scaffolding at the front of his house it was a 1920s property – very high, he was on top of a ladder and using it as a pogo stick to jump from one scaffold to another. I did a double take and mouthed [to a neighbour] ‘what on Earth do I do?’ and he said ‘I have no idea’ – he was bouncing the ladder. Then he came down to meet me I said hi and we gave him a bottle of wine. At the time we only had the dog and he said ‘can I give her a biscuit’ it was a chocolate biscuit and I said no, dogs don’t eat chocolate and being 80-odd he just ignored me and gave the dog a chocolate biscuit anyway.
From that moment, they knew that Ken Watson was a real character
Owen also recalled Cadi’s first present bought by Ken. It was a 4ft tall ‘gangly-legged dread-locked lion called Elvis’. Owen later went into a well-known toy shop where the Elvis toy was from. He said to the cashier ‘we’ve got one of them from our neighbor.’
The lady behind the counter said ‘oh, it wasn’t an elderly gentleman with a bald head and glasses’ and I said it was. She said ‘he’s bought them for all the neighbor’s children’. He had effectively cleared them out of Elvis’ over the years. That’s just to give you a sense of both the decency and forward-planning.
Ken was a man full of life. At 85 he went wing walking and he planned to do it again before he passed away.
Because of Ken’s loving gesture, Owen is now asking that everybody gets to know their neighbors over this festive period
What struck me in the messages I’ve received is how many people don’t actually know their neighbours. One thing I would say to that is that our friends and family will always be there for us but they’re not physically there for you. Your neighbours, on the other hand, are both literally and physically in the next house or just across the road. In a time of crisis you can turn to your friends and family by all means but theoretically your neighbours are immediate. They’re the people that would rescue you from a house fire or if all the slates fell off your roof.
He makes a great point. In this generation, we tend to lose sight of who’s living around us and that’s a real shame. You could end up making some incredible friendships.
In terms of a Christmas wish I would say, just say ‘hi’ to your neighbours. There’s no better time to do it. Take a bottle of wine or prosecco.
How incredible is this story about Ken Watson and his very generous gifts? Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section below. 🐝