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The Case of the Missing Book: When Regifting Goes Wrong

December 25, 2010

I love Christmas with my family. There’s just the three of us: Mom, Dad and me. Christmas is a nice, low-key day. We unwrap presents. We read our new Christmas books, and a merry, mellow time is had by all.

This year… there was a minor bit of drama and anguish. I misplaced the book I’d been reading. I was just about in the middle of The Midnight Band of Mercy, by Michael Blaine. It’s a nicely Gothic historical mystery, set in 19th century New York. Exactly my speed. I’d been reading it happily on the bus out to my parents’ place, and had curled up with it to read (and nap) on the afternoon of the 23rd.

That was the last I saw of the book.

At first, wrapping presents and doing Christmas prep, I didn’t notice.

But then it became clear… the book wasn’t anywhere! I looked all over! In my room! On my bed! In the living room! My parents’ room! In the kitchen, even! Under the bed! Under the couch! I hate hate hate losing things. Because I lose them and then I feel scatterbrained. And then I feel really dumb when I find them. And because I was looking and looking and not finding the book, I was sure it was someplace really stupid. Someplace I’d already looked and maybe been too dense to see it. Very frustrating. I got Dad to help me look for the book. We shook out every blanket on my bed. And since he couldn’t find it either, I started to feel a little better.

Still. Where had the book gone? Very mysterious. But– not too much of a worry. I always have a spare book to read. So I started reading another book, and figured the missing one would turn up.

Christmas morning! My parents and I opened our stockings, and set to unwrapping our gifts. I got exactly what I wanted- cozy sweaters, and plenty of books. There are always plenty of books to unwrap at Christmas, for every member of the family. We are probably the backbone of the local bookstore owner’s 401K plan.

Dad unwrapped one of the books Mom had given him. “Hmm! The Midnight Band of Mercy. Interesting!”

“Hey!!!I squawked! “That’s my missing book!!!”

Turns out Mom, in a fit of giftwrapping Zen, had found my book lying unattended near a pile of would-be presents, and had wrapped it right up.

But- now my book is in its rightful spot. And Dad can have his “Christmas present” back… when I’m done reading it.

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