LONDON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- An 85-year-old London retiree said he has been overwhelmed by the response to the newspaper ad he placed to find someone to spend Christmas with.
James Gray, a retired butler, placed an advertisement in the Irish Post earlier this month, after he spent Christmas alone for nine years.
By Dec. 12, he had received one letter from a woman who said she was spending the holiday with someone else, the Irish Post reported.
"This time of year is so hard if you are old and alone because it feels like everybody else around you is enjoying themselves," he told the Post at the time.
But over the past few days, he has been inundated with letters from readers.
Many have offered to have Christmas dinner with him, the Post said, and he has received thousands of messages of support.
"It is so touching to me, after all these years alone, to see this response from people," he said. "I'm so appreciative of the offers. I should have done this years ago."