This is a sad story. But one which I think bears telling.
I'm sure that we all know that sometimes this time of year isn't the best of celebrations for people going through bad times, whilst we get off our faces and eat too much and generally make merry.
This is my Christmas present from Lillian.Lillian was a colleague of mine, she was 50 when she collapsed three weeks ago and died three days later from a series of strokes. I can't pretend that Lillian was a close friend, we just worked together - but we did have a good laugh on many occasions.
Lillian was instrumental in organising this year's office "Secret Santa"; a workplace tradition shared by millions of offices around the country. The Secret Santa draw never took place, and no one bought presents - Lillian had died before the time to do so.
But, being an organised sort of person, she had made a list of what each of her colleagues might like if she drew their name from the hat and had to buy them a present.
The man whom she lived with (she hated the word "partner"), Mike, found the list and, assuming it to be a shopping list, bought each item on it. He wrapped and brought the presents into the office because he thought that was what Lillian had intended.
I know that my parcel contains some bottles of beer and when I drink them, I will think of Mike and the rest of Lillian's family as they mark the festive season in whatever manner they feel they can. Thank you, Mike, and thank you Lillian.