The Worst Christmas Present EVER
BFF post #150
With no one on her Christmas list other than the office "Secret Santa" gift recipient, she shops for something very special as her own gift. It will be wrapped and put under the tree along with the 5 gifts she purchases for her co-worker. The "Secret Santa" rules state that one small gift is given each of 5 days leading up to the office party on the evening before Christmas Eve. The party is held immediately after work and lasts well into the night. Adriana attends every year, but doesn't stay too late. She has to get home to her family and friends who will be arriving, she tells her co-workers. You see, she hosts a night before Christmas Eve party herself each year. All of the friends and family who live only in her mind, will be in attendance and many will spend the night in her small 1 bedroom apartment. Thankfully, they prefer to sleep on the floor near the tree. Since no one from the office had actually ever been to her home, no one thought anything of her story and the fact that it remained the same every year, well, no reason at all to doubt.
Adriana found a positively beautiful light blue sweater at the local ladies shop, My Lady's Boutique. It would be the perfect gift. Her size, her favorite color and indeed in her price range. SOLD. The smaller gifts were purchased at the nearby Walgreen's and wrapping paper procured. Since she had drawn Kathy's name, she purchased several bath specialty gifts and then a lovely picture frame to frame her children's adorable photo's for her desk. She wrapped each gift with care and curling the contrasting ribbons on each. She loved wrapping and tagging and stacking them under the tree. They joined the dozen or so boxes which were wrapped with equally loving care about 4 years ago and brought out each year for her "friends". She had nothing for the "family" just having them in her head was enough of a gift for and from them. They were not a greedy family. They just enjoyed each other's company and the wonderful meal Adriana would prepare for them on Christmas afternoon.
Her own "Secret Santa" gifts were very nice. She had no idea who had purchased them, but she had received a very cute Christmas bulb for the tree, a set of 3 candles, a CD by Nat "King" Cole, one of her favorites, a kitchen timer that looked like a rooster and finally a beautiful light blue handmade scarf. Whoever had drawn her name knew her quite well, she loved each gift. Upon arrival at her apartment she had placed them under the tree to admire for the next 2 days. She went to bed fairly early because all the "guests" were just too tired from all the travel to stay up late.
Christmas Eve was a day of visiting with all her "guests" and laughing about all the fun times they have all shared. She put a frozen turkey dinner in the oven at around 5 and invited all the "guests" to have a seat around her table for 2 and dive into the homemade turkey dinner she was serving. The rooster timer had announced that dinner was ready! Only a small plate of leftovers remained after everyone had gone for the night. What a lovely Christmas Eve. Smiling broadly, Adriana looked in the mirror and reminded herself what a blessed life she had. "Merry Christmas, Adriana" she said aloud. These people may only exist in her head, but they were the most thoughtful and loving people she had ever known..
When she awoke on Christmas morning she made herself a cup of coffee and sat in the near dark room basking in the light from the little tree. She felt truly happy. Inside and outside her life was exactly what she wanted it to be. Well, maybe not exactly, but close enough for today. She prayed her thanks to God and then reached for her special gift. She carefully opened it and touched the soft knit of the light blue sweater. It was the perfect gift. She really loved it and would wear it to work tomorrow. What a thoughtful and practical gift. "Merry Christmas to me. Thank you Mother." This she spoke outloud.
Making another frozen dinner, this time it was chicken, she imagined it was the leftovers from the turkey dinner the night before. It was delicious and she was listening to Nat "King" Cole sing while she ate. This had been a wonderful Christmas and sitting now with her "neighbors" and sharing a glass of wine, she imagined each of them talking about their Christmas day and she about hers. There was laughter and there was much talking. All in Adriana's head. All very, very real.
She bundled up to take a quick walk around the complex to see the lights. Several of the residents did quite an extensive light display and she enjoyed walking around looking at their handy work. Maybe one year she would do some outside lights. They were so pretty.
A little chilled now she walks a bit faster back to the warmth inside her building. Her apartment is the second one inside the door. There is a package outside her door.
She bends to retrieve it and quickly steps inside. Who would leave her a package and why? She removes her coat, mittens, hat and shoes before inspecting the package. It appears to be from a delivery service. On Christmas? Looks like it, but there is no label, so no, it isn't. She tears it open carefully and finds a small centerpiece inside. It's lovely. It is a gold circular holder with 5 cups for votive candles and in the bottom of the box 5 blue votives. How? Who? Digging deeper into the box, finally at the very bottom this note:
"Each time you light one of these, please remember someone somewhere loves you. Please know that you made a difference in someone's life and that someone just wanted to thank you. Merry Christmas."
No name. No address. No idea who sent this. No idea whose life she impacted. She lives trying not to impact anyone's life. Trying not to be anything to anyone except polite and kind. A human bond is way too scary for Adriana and now she is holding proof that one could exist. This is the worst Christmas Present she has ever received.
Someone out there, loves her and the last thing she would ever want is to be loved.
And the someone knows where she lives.
She will not sleep well tonight. The "friends" will not be invited tonight.