CHRISTMAS is a time of joy, celebration, family and mince pies.
For millions of children it is as much about the giddy excitement as they wait to see what Santa has bought them.
But for youngsters in hospital and their families it can be a time of anxiety and heartache as they miss out on the kind of Christmas most of us take for granted.
That's why the Advertiser is asking readers to dig deep and give generously to our Toys for Joy appeal – to help make these children's lives slightly more bearable this festive season.
Esmanur Parmak is one of those children.
She is just six- years-old and a bright, cheeky little girl, who is a pupil in Year 1 at Elmwood Infants School.
But Esmanur has spent every Friday at Croydon University Hospital since she was just two- months-old to receive care for a bowel condition which means she is not able to absorb protein.
She will have the condition for the rest of her life.
On the day the Advertiser visits her, it is Esmanur's sixth birthday and she is in the hospital's Dolphin ward for her weekly four hour transfusion.
Stephanie Belch, a staff nurse who has known Esmanur since she first came to the hospital, said: "She's a really good girl and she is very good even when we have to carry out some painful procedures, but it is hard for her and she does need constant care and attention.
"Her mother is amazing and she has to be up with her every two hours throughout the night."
Her Turkish mother, Esin Parmak, 25, said she has forged a brilliant relationship with the nurses in the unit and is very grateful for their help.
"Me and Esmanur could not speak English when we first came here and Esmanur used to talk to the nurses in Turkish," she said.
"When I come here, the nurses are so good I can have a break and read my magazines because I don't get much time otherwise."
As it is her birthday, the nurses have bought Esmanur presents, including a doctor's kit and books about her favourite thing in the whole world – Peppa Pig.
It is these sorts of toys that we are asking Advertiser readers to donate.
Esin added: "It is a very nice idea for an appeal. Kids can be at the hospital for a long time. We were in the Rupert Bear ward last year and the hospital brought in presents that Esmanur loved.
"It is a big help."
And what does Esmanur want for Christmas this year?
"Peppa Pig! Peppa Pig! Peppa Pig!"How to donate ALL toys donated to the appeal must either be new or nearly new and in pristine condition. Toys can be for babies, toddlers or older children up to 17-years-old. But, if you are wrapping your gifts please make sure you label who they are for, an approximate age and whether it is for a boy or girl. We cannot accept soft toys for hygiene reasons. You can bring your presents to the NHS Croydon building at 12-18 Lennard Road, Croydon, from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.