Christmas presents can test the strength of even the most patient of people. Whether it be the shiny wrapping paper or the intriguing shape that entices you in, gifts during the festive period possess a certain power over your senses.
Even when you know what is inside, it’s hard not to want to instinctively tear away the perfectly pressed paper and disregard the ribbon. This feeling is only intensified when you are clueless as to what’s inside the innocuous parcel underneath your Christmas tree.
So, with that in mind, can you imagine not opening a present for 47 years? For Adrian Pearce from Edmonton in Canada, that is exactly what he has done.
In 1970, Pearce was given a gift by his then-girlfriend, Vicki. Pearce was madly in love and thought that he and Vicki would always be together. However, Vicki had other plans in mind.
On the same day that she gave him the present she unceremoniously dumped him. Devastated by the unfortunate turn of events, Pearce stormed off home where he threw the gift under his family’s Christmas tree.
“She gave me a present at the same time and I took the present home. I had a long walk home and I was all upset and angry, and all the things you feel when somebody breaks up with you,” Adrian told CBC. “So I fired the present under the Christmas tree. After my family opened their gifts at Christmas, there was still one Christmas gift left and it’s the gift this girl Vicki had given me. I told my family I’m never going to open that present.”
Despite meeting up with Vicki again a few years later and realizing that the two weren’t interested in one another, Adrian kept hold of the present.
Fast-forward 47 years and he is still in possession of the parcel, which has begun to disintegrate after years of being manhandled and placed under Adrian’s Christmas tree.
Despite having moved on and married, Adrian still laid out the present under the tree every year, until his wife – understandably – told him to quit the peculiar ritual.
It wasn’t only his wife that pressured him to stop his infatuation with the gift, his children also begged him to open it. But, he refused.
While he no longer puts Vicki’s gift under the tree, Adrian does look at it fondly each year. As he does so he questions what could be underneath the yellowing sticky tape, but never peels it back.
Rather than simply rip the paper off, Adrian has tried to contact Vicki so that she can tell him what lies inside. But, he has been unable to reach her – if she has any sense, she is avoiding his calls (he does sound like an obsessive ex).
“I kept it initially because I guess I had hopes that we would get back together and open it together. Now it’s just become a habit after 47 years of looking at it and having the pleasure of not opening it. Maybe I don’t want to know what’s inside it. It’s more exciting right now not opening the thing.”
Well Adrian, we have one message for you:
He did have one “moment of weakness” which nearly saw him end the 47-year mystery. But, he thought better of it and now nearly 50 years later, he is starting to consider running a competition to see if anyone can guess what is under the shimmery paper.
I hope he does, because I don’t know about you, but I am really curious about what is inside! Let’s hope it isn’t perishable! Or, maybe it is one of these popular gifts from the 1970s