Get closer this Christmas
Not everyone gets to spend Christmas Day with their loved ones, which is why Vodafone have arranged unforgettable experiences for some of those who can’t this year.
Sometimes, it’s impossible to get everyone in the same house on Christmas Day – no matter how delicious and tempting the Christmas dinner may be. Many may have to work and other family members may not be able to travel from the other side of the country, or the world for that matter.
There’s not been one year that Edwin hasn’t spent Christmas Day in the company of his son, David, and his two grandchildren, Max and Ella. Although Edwin lives in Donegal and his family in Wicklow, they looked forward to spending that time together, sharing stories and jokes over dinner – and talking about their love of rugby. This year, however, Edwin has to spend the day with another relative elsewhere in Ireland, meaning the family tradition will be broken.
So, Edwin wanted to look for another way to share Christmas with his family and he was determined to make sure that this Christmas would be just as special as the last few – perhaps even more special!
Edwin nominated his two grandchildren for a Christmas surprise, to win one of three surprise events arranged by Vodafone, the official main sponsor of Irish rugby. Soon after, Edwin got the call from Vodafone to tell him that his family were chosen to share a Christmas surprise with each other, doing something they would all love, something they may not ever get the opportunity to experience – the Ultimate Rugby Experience.
Edwin kept it a surprise from his grandkids; Max and Ella assumed they were travelling to Dublin to meet their grandad for breakfast, as their dad, David, had informed them. But, little did they know, that they would soon arrive at the Aviva Stadium – where Edwin was standing, waiting.
Excitement got the better of the family when they were greeted and guided around the Aviva by Rala, the former Ireland rugby kit man for several years. Not only did Rala tell them some stories of his time with past and present Irish players, but the family got their own story to bring away with them, when they had the opportunity to watch the Irish team train and the players themselves came over for a chat and signed rugby balls!
But it didn’t stop there. Tadgh Furlong presented a signed rugby jersey and as the family were seated in the away changing room, chatting about the day, Jamie Heaslip walked in, fresh from training. Max and Ella got the opportunity to ask him questions and as both play number 8 in rugby themselves, Jamie gave them advice on how to become a great player in this position. Aware that the family didn’t have tickets to the Ireland V Australia game the next day, on behalf of Vodafone Jamie presented them with four tickets, which meant the experience was still not over.
Presence not presents
The next day, the family enjoyed a great win for Ireland to cap off not only a great season for Irish rugby, but a once-in-a-lifetime shared experience the family will never forget – and all thanks to Edwin for nominating his family and to Vodafone for helping people to get closer this Christmas. Although you may not be unwrapping gifts with family on Christmas Day, there are other fun moments that you can share over the festive period which count the most. Think outside the box – how will you get closer to family and friends this Christmas?