Social media post saves woman from spending first Christmas alone

Christmas Day is a time you'd usually spend with family and friends, but what about those who can't be with their loved ones today? 

That's the dilemma one Wellington woman was facing until she put a post up on social media inviting Kiwis in a similar situation around to hers for lunch. 

Among the Christmas decorations in Catherine O'Mara's home is a portrait of her mother who died of cancer back in January. 

"Me and mum were quite big on Christmas we'd make heaps of food, cover the house in lights, everything," O'Mara said. 

This is the 23-year-old's first Christmas without a parent as her father is also in a rest home with dementia. 

"At first I didn't even want to celebrate Christmas, what's the point when you have no family, because when you think of Christmas you think of family," she said.  

Not wanting to spend the day alone she put a post up on social media. 

"I was thinking what if there's other people in the same situation, I couldn't just leave them to spend Christmas alone, so I thought I'd bring us all together and have a nice Christmas." 

Today Catherine was far from alone with six people showing up at her doorstep and travelling from as far as Palmerston North to help her celebrate Christmas Day. 

Those joining in said it was a great change and the perfect way to spend Christmas 

"What drew me to come was Catherine's story, I am actually experiencing the same thing myself, so I think it's better to be around someone who understands what I'm going through," Sangita Reddy said. 

"My parents and stuff are in Samoa so I just thought I'd come over and spend Christmas with different people and a different environment," Jimmy Viki said. 

"Honestly I wasn't expecting that many people to turn up, I was expecting a couple, but the amount that's come is really nice," O'Mara said. 

The party had everything, from plenty of Christmas decorations, to tons and tons of food, even presents. 

And despite what's been a really tough year, it's made O'Mara more resilient and eager to make the most out of life. 

"Moving forward I just try to be a better person, help the community out, try to live life and be happy even though mum is gone, try to continue living life." 

A life that she hopes will be as cheerful as the day she's had.