Every year, this man gets out a mystery gift from an ex-girlfriend, looks at it, then puts it away. He has lived for 47 years without knowing what’s inside. But with the 50th anniversary coming up, he’s been trying to trace his old flame.
Adrian Pearce is a man from Canada with a remarkable story. It all started in 1970, when he was just a teenager. He was in Grade 12 at secondary school on the outskirts of Toronto, and it was just before the Christmas holidays.
At that time, the 17-year-old had a girlfriend. Her name was Vicki and it was Pearce’s first ever proper relationship. But sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. Pearce’s high school sweetheart broke up with him right before Christmas, leaving him hurt.
But aside from giving him a broken heart, Vicki also gave Pearce a gift. Having just broken up with him, Vicki handed Pearce a tiny Christmas present, which she had wrapped in blue paper. However, he couldn’t bring himself to open it there and then.
Instead, wounded Pearce walked all the way home with the gift. He was still dealing with all the emotion of the break up. Then, when he got home, he threw Vicki’s present under the family Christmas tree, saving it for another time.
When Christmas came around that year, Pearce remembers opening presents with his family, until there was only the one remaining. At the end of it all, Vicki’s lonely gift was still sitting under the tree. But Pearce was stubborn and didn’t want to open it.
Speaking to CBC News in December 2017 Pearce recalled telling his family that he would never open the present. He then went off to college, where he came across his ex-girlfriend’s sister. It was 1977, and Pearce still hadn’t opened the Christmas gift from Vicki.
Vicki’s sister gave Pearce some phone numbers to try to make contact with his ex. He subsequently called her, and they met up. In fact, they even entertained the idea of dating again, but found that the spark was gone. But now nearly 50 years have passed, and the gift is still unopened.
Although Pearce is now married with kids, the gift has continued to make an appearance under the Christmas tree every year. His children were so intrigued by it that they begged him to open it, but he never did. In the end, however, his wife decided that enough was enough.
She consequently told Pearce that the blue present wasn’t allowed to sit under the tree anymore. So in 2017 he decided that it was time to track Vicki down and perhaps bring an end to the story. And he knew the first thing that he needed to do.
Pearce found his old diary from 1977, which still had the phone numbers from Vicki’s sister in it. Frustratingly, though, none of the numbers yielded any dividends, and he was no closer to finding his ex. Next, Pearce turned to the internet for help.
When he typed in Vicki’s full name into a search engine, he found what seemed to be a match. But it turned out to be a false lead. The woman whom he contacted turned out to be living in Kelowna, British Colombia, and was in her 90s. She was clearly not the lady who had given him the Christmas gift all those years ago.
Pearce admitted to CBC that he wouldn’t know what to say to Vicki even if he did eventually find her. “I kept it initially because I guess I had hopes that we would get back together and open it together,” he said.
And there was even one occasion when Pearce started to open Vicki’s gift, before he managed to stop himself in time. That’s why the gift looks a bit tattered now. But as the years went by, Pearce said that getting the gift out at Christmas just became a “habit.”
In the process of trying to find Vicki at the end of 2017, Pearce ended up on local radio. This turned out to be the first in a series of interviews, with a number of reporters wanting to talk to him. As a “Christmas wish,” Pearce asked all his Facebook friends to share a post, in the hope of tracing Vicki.
And his story has now reached as far afield as Russia, Denmark and Australia. Yet despite this, the gift-giver still hasn’t been found. Pearce says that all he wants is to find Vicki so that she can share in the celebration. But that hasn’t proven to be an easy feat.
Pearce has even declared when he might like to officially open the gift. He was given the present in 1970, so he thought that opening it on the 50th anniversary might be appropriate. And he plans to make the occasion a charitable event.
According to CBC, Pearce wants to hold a contest regarding the mystery gift. The plan is to ask people to guess what the present is, after paying a small entry fee. Then, the profits will be donated to charity. But Pearce will have to open it without Vicki if he never finds her.
Pearce also sees the benefit in never finding out what Vicki gave him that Christmas. “Maybe I don’t want to know what’s inside it. It’s more exciting right now not opening the thing,” he told CBC. Still, most people would never had made it through 47 years without satisfying their curiosity.
So, the search for Vicki continues. And with the help of social media, there is still hope that she might be found before the 50th anniversary. It would mean a lot to Pearce, who said that “the icing on the cake – so to speak – would be finding this woman and having her join the celebration!”