The Christmas Surprise

I knew about my mother’s Christmas present closet.

Christmas Tree (1)

Christmas Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d even gone through it one year with my younger brother when my Mom was away.

It didn’t do me any good. I didn’t know which presents were for me.

Under the tree that year, there were none from the secret closet.

One year, I got a present that wouldn’t have fit in the closet anyway.

Years later, when I asked, Mom told me the box had been stored at a neighbor’s until Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Morning

That Christmas morning, there was a huge box under the tree.

It had my name in big letters across the side of the box, and a label with my name on it.

But, strangely, the box had been partly torn open.

I didn’t think a lot about it. Perhaps it had been torn in the store.

Perhaps it had been torn when my parents opened it for inspection then packed it up again.

I did not notice that my brothers were watching me and looking guilty.

I just opened it and was delighted to find what I’d wanted, a brand-new, 26-inch bike.

I was 10.

It was time for a big-girl, full-sized bike.

The Guilty Confess

My brothers eventually confessed.

They had torn the box.

They were not careful about opening it up because they were sure that it was for one of them.

I don’t know why.

One brother was too young for a full-sized bike.

The other brother already had one.

They had snuck down to see the Christmas tree and presents under it before I woke up.

They didn’t notice my name scrawled in huge letters across the side of the box, nor the label on top.

They stopped only when they realized it was a girl’s bike.

I was the only girl in the family.


They tried to put the box back together and hoped I wouldn’t notice.

It was one of my best presents ever.

Now, I have my own secret closet.

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What was your best Christmas present?

Did you ever mistake one of your presents for someone else’s?

Did your brothers or sisters ever have to confess something to you?

To you sharing the unbridled joy of Christmas with your grandchildren.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

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