This story about being a child of divorce at Christmas will melt your heart

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Megan Murray
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Hayley Webster’s thread about a special Christmas memory has been liked more than 50,000 times on Twitter.

In a poignant string of tweets, writer Hayley Webster has shared one of her most important Christmas moments, which took place when she was just nine years old. Not only has she beautifully captured how confusing Christmas can be through the eyes of a child of divorce, she has also reminded us of the holiday’s true meaning. 

Over the course of 18 tweets, Webster describes her efforts to make Christmas special for her five-year-old sister, recounting how she “put tinsel around the spoon for her yoghurt in her lunchbox”, left little presents for her around the house, and tried to distract her from the fact that their parents were “Not In A Good Place”. 

Whether you’ve had a similar experience or not, Webster’s witty but touching account feels relatable, and as far as your heart strings go, consider them well and truly pulled. 

But this is not a tale of woe. In fact, at the heart of Webster’s story is a lesson in how small gestures can be hugely significant.

Read on to find out why the best present Webster ever received cost no more than £1.50, and why the sentiment behind the gift has stayed with her ever since.

Webster continues to allude to this being a difficult time for her family, writing: “Anyway, we didn’t see my mum for chunks of time. It wasn’t a great time. This girlfriend turned up and made things nice, little gestures, little noticings.”

Although bewildered by her changing family landscape, she focused on making her younger sister’s Christmas magical with thoughtful details and gifts. 

“I made my sister a card every day from Santa’s elves and hid little gifts about the house, little glitter footprints, bought beautiful soaps from the gift shop in town in the shape of sea shells, and bells and apples using my savings, and wrapped them for her,” Webster writes. 

Despite not comprehending the meaning of her dad’s girlfriend’s comment, Webster would awaken to a special surprise later that week intended to make her realise that her thoughtfulness and kindness had not gone unnoticed.  

Webster brings her story to an end on a beautiful note, reminding us that small acts of kindness really do matter – and don’t need to cost the earth to mean something. 

“It’s something I try to do, not with gifts, but with actions,” she writes. “She taught me Christmas is nothing to do with showing people you love them with big money spends. 

“For me, it will always be about giving people what they need; attention, kindness, love.” 

Webster may have joked that her message is cheesy, but the thread has been well and truly welcomed into the arms of those on Twitter, having been retweeted over 17,000 times.

Hundreds of social media users have commented on the heart-warming story with many saying that it made them cry.

One Twitter user who picked up on the thread is author JK Rowling, who retweeted Webster’s story to her 13.6 million followers, calling it “beautiful”.

Here’s to showing people that they matter, all year round. 

Images: Twitter 


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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.