BARRY, Wales — When Owen Williams opened the door of his home in Barry, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
The daughter of his elderly neighbor Ken, who had recently died, was clutching a large plastic bag, and Williams assumed it was garbage that she wanted him to throw away.
Instead, the sack contained all the Christmas gifts Ken had bought for Williams’ 2-year-old daughter for the next 14 years.
“She said, ‘These are presents for Cadi for the next few Christmases — it’s quite heavy’. She was quite emotional and I got a lump on my throat,” Williams told CNN.
“My wife was on FaceTime with her mum in Ireland. I popped the bag onto the kitchen counter and my wife started to tear up and I started to tear up, and her mum started to tear up.”
“It was like a Mary Poppins bag, the presents kept coming. It’s an actually unbelievable Christmas story.”
Williams, whose Twitter thread of the story went viral, said Ken was 83 when they first moved in beside him two years ago.
“Ken was bouncing a 20-foot ladder across the face of his house, a redbrick house from the 1920s overlooking the sea,” he said about meeting his neighbor for the first time. “He was on top of the ladder trying to get one scaffold to the other across the floor.”
“He eventually came down the ladder and I gave him a bottle of wine. My dog came out to meet him and he gave him some chocolate digestives cookies. The dog fell in love with him since then.”
He said Ken was a former salvage marine diver, a seaman, a carpenter, an engineer — and even a baker. “He baked a wedding cake once,” Williams said.
Williams says they opened one of the presents — a children’s book — but are unsure what to do about the rest. Many people weighed in on the Twitter thread with their views on when to open the presents.
“Some toys won’t be suitable for her — we can’t give a 15-year-old a Duplo, for instance,” Williams noted. “I’m gobsmacked at how you could plan this for 14 years.”