Adrian Pearce still has a gift from his first real girlfriend that he has kept, completely wrapped, for 47 years now. It sounds too hard to believe, but this is a true story…one that shows just how powerful young love can be, even a half of a century after its flame was first extinguished.
The Mysterious Christmas Gift
What started as a simple gift from a girl to her boyfriend has turned into a mystery that has lasted for nearly 50 years. Forty-seven years ago, Adrian Pearce was given a gift by his girlfriend at the time. He put it into its place under the family’s Christmas tree, but ultimately put it away after the holiday, with the present completely wrapped. He has continued that tradition in most of the years since, and the present is still wrapped to this day.
Adrian Pearce was a typical Canadian boy that would end up going to secondary school in a town near Toronto. It was then when he was in his last year of school, in 1970, that he would meet his girlfriend and they’d fall for one another. The relationship, of course, would lead to the famous mystery present.
Young Love Gone Wrong
At just 17 years old, Adrian fell head over heels for his girlfriend, Vicki. However, young love is fickle, and the relationship simply did not have what it took to stand the test of time. Vicki would ultimately break up with Adrian just before Christmas. Adrian, of course, was heartbroken by the split.
Confused And Hurt
Not only was Adrian confused by why his girlfriend suddenly dumped him, but he was very hurt, as well. He had gone to visit Vicki, and as she was breaking up with him, she also gave him his Christmas present. Adrian remembers walking home and feeling “upset and angry,” as you’d expect for a teenager in his situation.
Wolfie Stole Her
Unsurprisingly, Adrian would find out that it wasn’t anything he did that led to the breakup. Instead, Vicki had a crush on another guy. “She went off with this kind of bad boy, this motorcycle riding guy named Wolfie,” Adrian remembered years later. This only made the pain of the breakup even worse for young Adrian.
What About The Gift?
Adrian returned home, heartbroken and carried the Christmas gift he received from the girl who was his girlfriend just a couple of hours ago. Now he was forced to celebrate Christmas with a broken heart and no girlfriend. And what would he do with the present? It was too much to think about that day.
Expressing His Anger
When Adrian got back home from the ill-fated visit with the girl he loved, his family could tell that he was upset. They asked him what was wrong and he told them about getting dumped, letting his anger show. He tossed the present that Vicki had given him under the tree. “I’m never going to open it,” he told his parents. Then he went to his room to be miserable in silence.
As the days passed, Adrian Pearce went about his daily business, going to school, doing his work, and spending time with his family. It was a sad Christmas for the heartbroken young man, who still managed to all but forget about the gift from his now ex-girlfriend, Vicki. The holiday definitely didn’t go as he’d hoped it would.
An Unopened Gift
When Christmas came, Adrian gathered with the rest of the Pearce family so that they could open their presents and celebrate the holiday together. When it was all said and done, all of the gifts had been opened except for one. The remaining present, of course, was the one from Vicki. Adrian kept to his word and did not open it that day.
Sticking To His Word
As spring turned to summer and the gift went into a closet, still unopened, Adrian prepared for college. It was there that he met someone that he knew from his high school years: Vicki’s sister. The year was now 1977 and amazingly, the gift had continued to be unopened for years after that fateful Christmas of heartbreak.
Adrian talked with his ex-girlfriend’s sister and the two caught up on what each other had been up to in recent years. Eventually, she gave Adrian her sister’s phone number. Adrian called Vicki, and they even met up in person for the first time in years. Though there seemed to still be some chemistry there, the two ultimately did not get back together.
A Family Man
Life went on as it tends to do, and many years later, Adrian Pearce was a family man. Married with kids, he would celebrate Christmas with his family like millions of other families do each year. The Pearce family had their traditions, but one stood out: Adrian still got his old gift from Vicki out each year and put it under the tree. Then it would go back into the closet at the end of the season, unopened.
That’s Enough Of That
Adrian’s wife was tolerant of his tradition at first, but grew tired of it as the years went on. She decided that she didn’t want a gift under her tree from an old high school girlfriend of her husband’s anymore, which is understandable. She told him the gift couldn’t go under the tree again, and in 2017, Adrian figured it was a good time to finish the story.
Sharing His Story
Although Adrian didn’t put the gift under the tree this year, he did take it out to look at it, as with every year. This time, though, he posted a picture of it on Facebook and shared the story. Everyone was amazed, and the story quickly went viral. People guessed about what the gift might be, and one person suggested that he wait until the 50th year to open it.
Searching For Vicki
Adrian figured that before he decided what to do with the gift, it would be nice to try to get in touch with Vicki. Maybe she would like to be a part of the whole story again? He started his search by calling phone numbers that he found in an old diary from the 1970s, which had numbers listed for Vicki, her parents, and her employer back then.
Stuck At A Dead End
Adrian figured in the back of his mind that it might not be that easy to track down Vicki after 47 years, but he called the phone numbers, anyway. Adrian nervously dialed the numbers one by one, unsure of what to expect. However, none of them turned up any helpful information on how to get in touch with her.
Continuing His Efforts
It can be tough to find old friends when their names have changed through marriage and other events, which made finding Vicki hard. Adrian tried to search for her using her maiden name, but the only person he found was a 90-year-old woman in British Columbia. Obviously, that was not the right Vicki.
Turning To The Internet
Social media can be helpful when trying to find people, and Adrian used his friends and family on Facebook to help with his search. His posts went viral, which allowed strangers to try to help find Vicki, too. He began doing interviews, in which he admitted that he first kept the present hoping that they’d get back together one day and open it as a couple.
In another interview, Adrian admitted that there was one year in which he actually started to open the gift. He loosened one corner, then paused, thought better of it and put the flap back down. Since then, he has continued to get the gift out every year at Christmas, but it has always gone back to its spot unopened.
Quite The Story
Stories like Adrian’s don’t come around very often, and he found himself the subject of news stories and interviews from outlets all over the world. Whenever he did an interview, he figured that it just might lead to his finding the girl that gave him the Christmas gift 47 years ago. It seemed like a good way to keep the search going.
All Around The World
Through people sharing Adrian’s story on social media and all of the news stories and interviews, the saga spread far and wide very quickly. The story of the gift reached Russia, Australia, and Denmark, among other countries around the world! Somehow, though, Adrian still hadn’t been able to find Vicki.
After months of publicity, Adrian had to admit that he was pleasantly surprised about the coverage his gift and the story behind it had received. When asked, he said that he wasn’t completely shocked that his story had captured the attention of so many, though. After all, his story was very real and could even have a happy ending.
It has been months since Adrian’s story went viral, and there have been a few women that have actually come forward to say that they were Vicki. However, Pearce did not immediately believe them and asked them a few questions about the old days, eventually learning that none of them were the actual Vicki.
A New Plan
While looking for the real Vicki, Adrian has had time to think about how he might want to commemorate the opening of the present. He thinks that a good time to open it would be in 2020, the 50th anniversary of when he received it from her. With the media attention, Adrian is hoping that he may be able to use the event to raise money for charity.
Adrian has thought of an idea based upon a curious trend he noticed regarding the gift: people love guessing what it might be. The gift is approximately the size of a postcard, and people have guessed that it might be a framed photo, a book, or perhaps chocolates. Guesses have come from all around the world.
A Charitable Idea
With the way people have taken to guessing what the gift might be, Adrian thought that perhaps he should hold a contest regarding what the gift is, with a charity to benefit from the funds generated. Still, all of that is secondary to his main objective, which has not changed. He still wants to find Vicki.
A Little Conflicted
Despite all of the hoopla, there is still an urge to perhaps leave the gift unopened, however. During one interview, Adrian admitted that sometimes he isn’t sure whether he ever wants to unwrap it. “Maybe I don’t want to know what’s inside it,” he admitted. “It’s more exciting right now not opening the thing.”
Not Giving Up
Adrian has not yet been able to track down Vicki, despite all of the media coverage and the sharing on Facebook and other social media outlets. That has not deterred Adrian, though, which isn’t surprising for someone who had the discipline to leave a gift wrapped for 47 years. He still hopes that he can locate Vicki before the gift reaches its 50th anniversary.