When we receive a present, we want to instantly open it and find out what kind of surprise someone had prepared for us. Unless we received it from someone we don’t know or don’t necessarily like, most likely, we would unwrap the gift right away because of the urge to know what’s inside that beautifully-wrapped box. However, some people wait for years and even decades before opening their gifts, and they have their reasons.
During their wedding ceremony, Kathy and Brandon Gunn received many lovely gifts from friends and family, and of course, they couldn’t resist opening the presents after the celebration. However, they left one gift untouched for almost a decade – the one given to them by their great-aunt Alison. After nine years since their wedding day, they finally decided to open the box, and what they saw inside shocked them to the core.
Kathy and Brandon became husband and wife in September 2007 at a wedding ceremony in Jackson, Michigan. Hundreds of guests attended their beautiful wedding. The couple has been happily married ever since. However, every relationship comes with its challenges, including Kathy and Brandon’s. At the wedding ceremony, they received one particular gift that stood out the most. Once they read the note attached to it, Brandon and Kathy knew they could use it to challenge each other.
Kathy’s great-aunt Alison was the one who came up with the gift idea. She hoped that they would find it useful, especially during the rough times. “Do not open until your first disagreement,” the note said. The love birds were confused by Alison’s strange message but decided to respect her wishes and not open the package until their first fight. The gift was left untouched for so long that it almost grew real cobwebs on it.
Kathy’s mother was worried that the gift might contain something that’s time-sensitive or perishable, and leaving it untouched for years might ruin it. However, Alison ensured that nothing would happen to the present. Still, Alison was surprised that Brandon and Kathy hadn’t opened her gift after two years. How could someone spend two years living with someone and not have one argument? Finally, Kathy revealed the truth.
She made a Facebook post about her relationship with Brandon, which later went viral. “Now, there had obviously been plenty of disagreements, arguments and slammed doors throughout our nine years, she said. Like any other couple, Kathy and Brandon also had fights and arguments, with some of them being quite serious. If what Kathy said in her Facebook post was true, then how come they still haven’t opened Alison’s gift yet? Well, the couple had their reasons…
The woman admitted that opening Alison’s gift seemed like a surrender in her and Brandon’s eyes. “There were even a couple of instances where we both considered giving up … but we never opened the box,” she mentioned in her post. Both Brandon and Kathy were very competitive people and for them opening the box meant giving up. Soon, refusing to open the box became a game that helped straighten their marriage.
In those two years, Brandon and Kathy moved several times and went on to continue their competition. Neither of them wanted to give up and open Alison’s box first. This silly game helped them to keep their marriage strong. However, at times, they both wondered what was inside the box. Would it be a letter? A souvenir? A book? The possibilities were endless. All they had to do was open the darned box, but neither of them dared to do it first.
Later, Kathy revealed the reason why it took them so long to open her great-aunt’s wedding gift. “I honestly think that we both avoided turning to the box because it would have symbolized our failure,” Kathy said in her Facebook post. It was only a matter of time before they started thinking differently about the mysterious box. One day, they decided to finally open it and were shocked when they realized what was inside.
Kathy and Brandon didn’t technically “lose the game,” but one day in March 2016, they agreed to open the present. It’s been almost ten years since they got married, and they felt like it was the perfect time for them to find out what aunt Alison had prepared for them. Although Kathy was having doubts about opening the present…
She worried they were making a big mistake by breaking the tradition. Maybe the box should stay unopened. She said, “What if this isn’t our worst fight? What if there’s a worse one ahead of us, and we don’t have our box?!” She wondered if her aunt’s gift was the real reason they stayed together all these years. What would their marriage be without this mysterious present?
After a few hours of thinking, Kathy realized how silly her thoughts were. Together with her husband, she finally opened the box after more than a decade of leaving it untouched. It contained two notes, wine glasses, some cash, a vase, and bath items. It seemed like a pretty ordinary gift to them until they started reading the notes. They couldn’t believe their eyes as they were reading great-aunt Alison’s message. Tears began falling down their cheeks.
Kathy’s note stated, “Go get a pizza, shrimp, or something you both like. Get a bath ready.” It was a piece of wise advice for someone having a marital conflict. However, Brandon’s note said something rather different. He was instructed to “Go get flowers and a bottle of wine.” Great-aunt Alison knew what she was doing. She planned to turn Kathy and Brandon’s first fight into a romantic evening by preparing drinks and food and a bath for Kathy to relax and calm her thoughts.
Brandon and Kathy couldn’t help but laugh after reading the note. They were a little bit confused and amazed at the same time. “All along, we assumed that the contents of that box held the key to saving a marriage,” Kathy shared in her Facebook post. She felt like she was missing something. Was this really enough to save their marriage? Something wasn’t adding up, and Kathy just had to get to the bottom of this.
Great-aunt Alison had been married to Kathy’s great-uncle for several decades, so she figured she would get them something that would definitely help save their marriage. For all these years, Kathy was sure that her gift contained the meaning of life. Instead, it held some notes and general items. Even though Alison’s wedding present turned out to be something different, she admitted it was more meaningful than her aunt probably expected.
”I realized that the tools for creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage were never within that box – they were within us,” Kathy shared in her Facebook post. However, those things can’t always keep a relationship or marriage together. Great-aunt Alison’s wedding present brought the couple closer than ever. They realized that they didn’t need something valuable or extraordinary to fix their marriage. Still, they couldn’t help but wonder what if something awful happened before they opened her present. This is what happened to Adrian Pearce after he split up with his high-school sweetheart Vicki Allen.
Adrian Pearce had been in a relationship with the love of his life – Vicki Allen, for two years before she broke up with him. It came as a shock to Adrian, as he wasn’t expecting it at all. Vicki broke up with him right before the holidays, which made it even worse for him. Adrian was very hurt and upset, but there was nothing he could do. After all, he can’t force someone to be with him, no matter how much he loves that person.
After the breakup, Vicki insisted on giving him the gift she bought for him. Adrian accepted her present, although he was confused. Nothing was worse for him than spending Christmas without his beloved girlfriend. He was heartbroken for a long time but refused to open Vicki’s gift. Adrian didn’t want to know what was inside, but he couldn’t throw it out either, so he just kept it under his Christmas tree.
After a few years, Adrian fell in love again with a woman named Valerie and almost forgot about his ex-girlfriend Vickie. He married Valerie, and the two started a family. However, once a year, Adrian would still think of Vickie and the present she gave him right before Christmas. Adrian figured there was no point in knowing what’s inside. He had a wife and children now.
His family knew about Vickie’s present and wondered what could be inside. Still, they respected his wishes and didn’t open it. Adrian told his children and wife that he would never open his ex-girlfriend’s present. He just didn’t see a point in that. Then, as years turned into decades, his family couldn’t keep up with the mystery any longer. So, after 47 years since Adrian broke up with Vicki, his wife told him to open the gift.
It was December 23, 2017, when Adrian finally made a Facebook post where he explained the situation, and his social media friends expressed a lot of interest in his story. He asked if anyone would be able to help him track down his ex-girlfriend Vicki so they could open her present together and reconnect. Later, he learned that one of his high-school friends had her on Facebook and was happy to reconnect the two.
Vicki was happy to hear from Adrian and invited him and his wife to visit her in British Columbia. Adrian was excited and nervous at the same time. After all, Vicki was his first love, and that’s not something you can just forget about. He had forgiven Vicki a long time ago, but seeing her again would certainly be not easy. Also, he was worried that Vicki and Valerie wouldn’t get along if they flew to British Columbia.
Despite everything, Adrian and Valerie decided to fly to western Canada to visit his ex-girlfriend and finally find out what’s inside the gift she gave him 47 years ago. To everyone’s surprise, while live on CTV, Vicki said that she couldn’t remember what was inside the box, but she did recall the circumstances surrounding her gift to Adrian. She explained that while she was out Christmas shopping for him, she ran into someone.
Vicki ran into a guy named Wolf, and after they talked for a little while, he kissed her, and she kissed him back. She felt incredibly guilty for cheating on her boyfriend and decided it would be best if they broke up. However, she still wanted to give Adrian his present that she sought out for him before everything happened. Now, forty-seven years later, Vicki, Adrian, and Valerie all got together to find out what is inside the box.
With all the cameras rolling around, Adrian decided that Vicki should be the one to open the present, so he carefully handed it to her. As soon as she unwrapped it, her face turned red, and she mumbled there was no way she could have given something like this to her boyfriend. Inside the package was a book titled: New Ways To Spot That Certain Feeling. The book was a collection of comic strips written by Kim Grove, inspired by the letters she wrote to her own husband.
While this book was probably not what a teenage boy would be interested in, it did hold a clear message behind it. Adrian handed it back to Vicki, and she started flipping its pages only to reveal a personal note she wrote to Adrian 47 years ago. Adrian decided to keep the note private and announced that he would frame the shiny blue wrapping paper and the book his ex-girlfriend gave to him as a bittersweet memory.
After the gift was opened, Adrian and Valerie headed back home. He couldn’t let go of what happened and decided to write a book about his experience. Adrian got 15 minutes of fame after his meeting with Vicki went live, which he used to promote his book titled The 47-Year-Old Present. In addition to the book, he also wanted to incorporate his story using a camera. He decided to release a documentary about his life.
Adrian announced that he would be the one filming the documentary, which would cover additional facts that weren’t mentioned in his book. Sadly, not everyone was as excited about his idea as Adrian was. His son called his idea “stupid.” Even Vicki, who got Adrian the book, agreed that it was “a bit worrisome.” They believe Adrian should just let go of the past and focus on the present, but he refused to forget about the wonderful meeting he had with Vicki and the gift she gave him.
Adrian felt like the story itself gave him a source of inspiration and a sense of purpose. He got to reconnect with Vicki and received a lot of attention with his unique love story. Now it wasn’t the time to give up on his dream. The anticipation of opening a gift is always exciting, but can you imagine waiting nearly five decades to unwrap a gift? It certainly takes a lot of patience. On December 18, 2018, a little girl received a big surprise from her neighbor that changed her life.
Mr. Watson, her elderly neighbor, had hidden a few unwrapped gifts in his home in Cardiff, Wales, just for her. He used to be a salvage diver before he retired and often recovered parts of airplanes, helicopters, and ships that had sunk into the ocean. Throughout his career, Mr. Watson made some amazing discoveries that were too astonishing to leave behind. He was a big adventurer who loved exploring the world.
It’s safe to say Mr. Watson had lots of hobbies. In addition to his passion for his career, he was also a classical music and opera fan, a keen metal detectorist, accordion player, election canvasser, woodturner, and Great British Bake Off viewer. Sometimes, his friends and family would go long periods without hearing from him as he was too busy with his activities.
“After my wife had passed away, I took a long time to settle. There’s a space around me. I still hear her voice and speak to her. I began parachute jumping. I enjoy these sorts of things. I feel the rush of the air. The second jump was the best. I thought ‘gosh I’m an eagle,'” said Mr. Watson. When he was 85 years old, he climbed on top of a small plane and stood on its upper wings as it flew in the air. When his neighbors Caroline and Owen Williams heard about his big adventures, they were stunned. All this time, they had no idea what their elderly neighbor was up to. They wanted to get to know him better and hear more about his crazy adventures.
In 2014, Caroline, Owen, and their daughter Cadi met Mr. Watson for the first time. “The day after we moved in, we heard some banging and found Ken working on a ladder in his overalls,” Caroline said. “During our first meeting, he gave our dog a biscuit. She absolutely loved him from that moment on; he was such a character.” As much as Mr. Watson loved William’s dog, nothing could compare to the moment when he saw their daughter, Cadi.
She reminded Mr. Watson of himself when he was little, and her bubbly personality brought him so much joy! He said he wished to live for at least 100 years so that he could spend more time with Cadi and see her grow up. Unfortunately, he passed away when Cadi was only two years old. Everyone remembered him as a funny, kind, polite guy who lived his life to the fullest. His neighbors missed his stories and optimistic outlook on life.
One day, Mr. Watson’s son, Ian, was going through his belongings and discovered something astonishing. His father had left a big surprise for the Williams family. In fact, it was 14 surprises. He had hidden a large sack in his attic with an instruction sheet for his son Ian. He asked him to bring the sack to the neighbors and instruct them to look inside.
After reading his father’s instructions, Ian went over to William’s house and rang their doorbell. The family couldn’t believe their eyes when they glanced inside Mr. Watson’s sack. It was filled with 14 wrapped gifts for Cadi. He wished to put a smile on the little girl’s face one more time, and it worked! Instead of giving her all 14 presents at once, Cadi’s parents decided to hand her one every Christmas. That way, she would remember all of them.
Even though Cadi might “grow out” of some of the presents, she will always remember her first dear friend Mr. Watson. Cadi’s parents teared up as they looked inside the bag. “I don’t know how long he put them away,” Caroline said, “whether it was over the last two years or whether he bought them towards the end of his life,” said Caroline.
The first present that they opened was a children’s book titled Christmas Eve at the Mellops written by Tomi Ungerer and his four brothers, who were searching for the perfect Christmas tree for their family. “I’ve known about this since before my father died. He was a very kind man. It is a lovely story, and I would like to tell the world what a lovely guy he was,” said Ian. While Cadi was too little to remember her neighbor, her parents will definitely tell her all of his stories when she grows up.