The heartwarming mystery letter left on the doorstep of Sheffield’s ‘Christmas House’
If ever there was a story which proved the the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Sheffield then surely this is it.
Phillip Gratton spends many hours each Christmas transforming his family’s home in Woodhead into a spectacular festive lights display for everyone to enjoy.
The illuminations are appreciated by thousands who pass the house on the A61 Woodhead near Morrisons, and they have become so well known that the humble abode is affectionately nicknamed the ‘Christmas House’.
Phillip’s wife Sarah says it adds around £600 every year to the family’s electricity bill but she insists it is worth it for the pleasure it brings other people, and the couple have never asked for anything in return.
So they were blown away when a mysterious letter thanking them for ‘making Christmas magical’, and containing a £10 M&S gift card, landed on their doormat.
The letter was addressed simply to ‘the Christmas House’ and said it was from Hannah and Rick, who gave no surname or address.
The message in full read: “Thank you for making Christmas magical with your decorations.”
Sarah, who has three children, aged 18, 15 and nine, and who runs the recently opened Pamela’s Sweetie Shop in Woodseats with her husband, said: “I actually started crying when I opened it.
“I don't get why someone would do that but it was such a lovely surprise to wake up to. We’d love to find out who Hannah and Rick are so we can say a proper thank you.
“It’s my husband who does all the work. He must spend five full days putting up all the lights each year.
“It all started 12 years ago when my nan Pamela Tankard, whom we named the shop after, gave Phillip a light-up train 12 years ago and it’s grown ever since. We lost my nan a couple of years ago but we’ve carried on adding to it.
“We always say we’re going to do a switch-on and collect money for charity but we’ve been so busy this year that we didn’t get around to organising it.
“My little boy loves it but the teenagers used to find it a bit embarrassing. It cost about £600 last year in electricity but it’s worth it. We don’t mind paying that bit extra.”
Sarah, 36, told how she and her husband had received a letter last year from an elderly gentleman expressing how much he appreciated the display, which he said ‘brought back so many memories’, but this was the first time anyone had given them a gift like this.
Are you the mysterious donors or do you know who Hannah and Rick are? Email us at [email protected]
We’d also love to see photos of your Christmas lights displays, like this spectacular effort in Woodhouse, which you can email or share with @sheffieldstar via Facebook or Twitter.