Christmas is generally thought of as a time of celebration and joy, but for people who have lost most of their loved ones, it can be a lonely time.
For one professor, who teaches high school students in Texas, she knows about beating the holiday blues all too well.
Professor Wharton casually told her class that this time of year can create a significant amount of sadness because all of her immediate family members are now deceased.
Wharton told Buzzfeed News that in a passing conversation, she said the holidays are “difficult for her.” And her students took that realization to heart.
Actually who is that with the Drury U shirt on ?? pic.twitter.com/EnBN2iXAGd
— Papa Thrash the Producer (@PapaThrash_) December 14, 2018
Without her parents and only sister, Wharton doesn’t have many other family members she can turn to. She’s not close with her distant cousins, so Christmas can be a hard time in the absence of children and a spouse.
One of her students, Belinda Ramirez, 16, said:
“We all felt really bad for her.”
In light of Wharton’s ordeal, Ramirez took the liberty of organizing a holiday surprise by buying their teacher several personalized gifts.
The student and the rest of her classmates prepared to give their teacher her presents on the last day of classes before the holiday break and captured the moment on video.
In the clip, Wharton walks into her classroom to a group of students — who in unison — yell:
In the now viral video posted to Twitter, you can hear the teacher say, “I have presents,” as she opens her gifts.
Watch the video below:
so we all got together to surprise our professor who usually spends christmas alone. it really is the little things. ❤️? pic.twitter.com/Iqouv8loc5
— nina (@belindaramirezz) December 13, 2018
Wharton told Buzzfeed:
“They were sneaky!
We all just started crying.
I was just completely overwhelmed by their compassion for me.”
People who shared and liked video were overcome with emotions.
Who cuttin onions…. pic.twitter.com/8r7YOeoB2T
— Miles? (@the_milezzz) December 14, 2018
When she said “I have presents” her face and her little shrug and just? pic.twitter.com/G9HPFyHzW5
— Laurie (@lauriersgomez) December 14, 2018
My eyes are running and I can’t stop it ?
— ✨Heff Gambino ✨ (@Heff__) December 14, 2018
Ramirez wrote in a tweet that is was amazing to see a smile on her teacher’s face.
Wharton said she has good friends, but was deeply touched that her students felt a sense of compassion for her lost.