Neighbours restore Al’s Christmas spirit

West Wodonga resident Al Skinner will once again don his Santa suit after his neighbours gifted him back his Christmas spirit.

Mr Skinner was planning to end his annual tradition of handing out lollies and gifts from his Links Street property after thieves stole a set of solar Christmas lights from it on Monday night.

But after some of his neighbours read of his ordeal in The Border Mail, they were moved to visit him with new ones.

“It was overwhelming — I was very emotional,” Mr Skinner said.

“These two families, I basically hardly know, have restored my faith in the spirit of Christmas.”

A woman and her teenage daughter from Birdie Street visited Mr Skinner on Saturday afternoon with three sets of Christmas lights, while a Wilson Street man gave decorations he no longer used.

“He told me ‘I felt sick for you this morning’,” Mr Skinner said.

“From bad sometimes comes good and I think this was one of those occasions when something good came from something so rotten.”

However, Mr Skinner, who also dresses up as Santa for special needs children at the Wodonga leisure centre, said his spirit wasn’t all back and he would only be out Christmas eve instead of his usual whole week.

The Foodshare volunteer tried to get in contact with his two volunteer elves, Hayley and Zoey Nolan, to tell them they had their job back, however, they had gone away.

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