'Best present ever would be if Santa brought Madeleine home'

'Best present ever would be if Santa brought Madeleine home'
Exclusive DAY 227: McCanns tell of XMAS anguish
The Sunday Mirror
16 December 2007
Lori Campbell

The parents of Madeleine McCann told last night how her little brother and sister heartbreakingly asked them: Will Santa bring her home for Christmas?

Kate and Gerry - who are trying to put on a brave face for twins Sean and Amelie - revealed their agony at facing Christmas without their daughter.

And they said it all became too much when they asked the toddlers what presents they want from Santa, and their reply was for Madeleine to come back.

They told the Sunday Mirror: "Celebrating is the last thing we feel like doing, but we want Christmas to be as normal for Sean and Amelie as possible.

"They both seem to understand they will be getting presents from Santa, but have also asked if Santa will be bringing Madeleine home, which just about broke our hearts."

Kate and Gerry, both 39, are convinced their little girl is still alive and told how they are praying for an incredible Christmas miracle.

They added: "Madeleine's return would obviously be the ultimate present for all of us and would bring tremendous joy to people all over the world."

Christmas will be one of the most difficult times yet for Kate and Gerry since Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3.

But despite their inner anguish, they have vowed to give their twins - who will be three in February - the best time possible.

Friends and relatives have rallied round and last week helped excited Sean and Amelie decorate the Christmas tree at the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

Kate and Gerry said: "They have already enjoyed decorating the Christmas tree with their granny and great aunt."

The couple have even bought presents for Madeleine in the desperate hope she will be home to unwrap them on Christmas Day.

They have been placed next to Sean and Amelie's gifts underneath the tree, and will be kept unopened for her.

Kate and Gerry said they will spend a quiet, Christmas with their close family. They said: "We have had many enquiries as to our plans for the festive period. Christmas 2007 will be an incredibly difficult time for us if Madeleine is not found before then. We plan to have a very quiet, private Christmas with family in the UK."

The couple, who are Catholics, will attend midnight mass in Rothley on Christmas Eve at which prayers for Madeleine will be said. But they have not yet decided if spending Christmas Day in their own home, where there are so many happy memories of Madeleine last year, will be too much to bear.

A close friend said: "They have had lots of offers from friends and relatives to spend Christmas with them, but they also want the day to feel as normal as possible for the twins. They know it will be heartbreaking waking up on Christmas morning in their home without Madeleine there. They can't even bear to think about it yet, and have been putting off making any final plans."

Their official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "They have not yet decided if they will be staying in Rothley or not, but they will be with their family."

Last year Madeleine beamed with excitement on her favourite day of the year as she played with her little brother and sister.

And a huge smile spread across her face as she opened her present from her mum and dad, a pink Barbie doll - her favourite colour.

Kate's parents Brian and Susan Healy have wonderful memories of last Christmas at their daughter's home.

Brian, 67, said: "Madeleine loves this time of year and on the big day her face lit up like a Christmas tree. I will never forget how happy the whole family was last year as we watched the three children play so blissfully together. "Now it just seems so far away and we had no idea how much things would change."

At his home in Liverpool, Brian added: "It was one of our happiest Christmases ever. That's why we are determined to buy her presents just like we have always done.

"Madeleine loves Harry Potter and Dr Who so we will buy her something that we know she will love."

Appealing for further help to get Madeleine home for Christmas, he said: "This is going to be one of the most difficult times of the year for all of us because Madeleine, like all children, especially loved Christmas.

"We are just hoping that people will be thinking of Madeleine more than ever which it might lead to a breakthrough."

Madeleine's grandmother Susan, 61, said: "We just want to be together again as a family this Christmas.

"This is a caring family who are missing their precious daughter at a time of year when they would normally be sharing the love and magic of Christmas with her."

Kate and Gerry made a new plea to anyone with new information about their daughter's disappearance to come forward. They said: "We would like to thank Sunday Mirror readers for your support and we ask you to stay with us as the search for our daughter continues.

"The police and private investigations continue and we have not given up hope.

"We again appeal to anyone who may have any information that might be relevant to contact your local police or our private investigators on 0034 902 300 213 if they have any information which might be relevant."

'Her gifts are under the tree'


Return to top of page Copyright © 2010 | Flash News Converted into Blogger Template by HackTutors