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Here's to the tradition of the missing present

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Editor
There's a holiday tradition in my family that's a bit out of the norm. It's called the tradition of the lost Christmas present and it works something like this.
Each year, someone (OK, my mom) loses a Christmas present she has bought for someone else. She usually doesn't realize this until everyone has opened their presents and she realizes that something is gone.
The missing present results in a mad search throughout the house, with my mother always saying "it will show up somewhere."
And it usually does. We always end up getting our present, even if it is just a couple of months late.
Just about everyone in my family has received a Christmas present in February or March, once the missing item is recovered.
The disappearing presents are never the big ones, just the small things picked up somewhere along the way and stashed in a place you swear you will remember.
But you don't.
For some reason, it seems my presents are the ones that disappear.
Several years ago, it was a package of socks or some such thing that disappeared on Christmas Day.
Several weeks later, when my mother and I were driving down the road, the missing package turned up.
Mother reached under the car seat to move it back and pulled out a small, wrapped box.
"Oh, look, here's your package," she said. "Merry Christmas."
Last year, it wasn't my gift, but my sister-in-law Ieleen's present that disappeared. In this case, it was a Santa ornament that didn't reappear until sometime in January. It now hangs proudly on her tree, just a year too late.
The worst part about the missing present syndrome is that it is catching.
Last weekend, I was at the above-mentioned sister-in-law's house when she handed me a crumpled red bag.
"This is your ornament from last year," she said with a smile. "It turned up with the rest of the Christmas stuff."
And then, on Sunday afternoon, Greg walked into my house with a funny look on his face.
"I have lost your birthday present," he said. "I think I threw it out Friday and the garbage came and I bet it's gone."
In this case, I had to put my foot down. Enough is enough. It's always been bad having a birthday so close to Christmas, but when those presents start disappearing, too, it's time to do something.
Apparently, the tradition of the missing Christmas present is spreading faster than the flu in a third grade classroom.