This year it arrived while I was in the midst of the final batch of Christmas baking (thimble cookies, my throwback tribute to the nostalgia of the season). When the doorbell rang, I opened it to find my next-door neighbour, Lawnmower Dad, standing there holding an immediately recognizable brown-paper parcel. I was told to tell you that some really weird guy dropped it off, he said (and I will spare you my attempts to phonetically type his Aussie accent).
My prying attempts to extract more information from him were unsuccessful. I guess when you are the father of three boys, you learn quickly to ignore needling pleas.
We had been hyper-vigilant all day, too, noting the little white car making its way suspiciously slowly down the street, the elderly woman behind the wheel obviously looking for an address. We watched that car until it turned the corner, thinking that evidently she was not looking for us after all. But perhaps she was, perhaps she was casing the street for a good drop-off point.
Long-time readers will be familiar with the story of the mysterious parcel that has arrived on our doorstep every Christmas for the last twelve years, each one depicting a verse of that seemingly endless song. It has been a tradition not without controversy, and I have not always been the most gracious of recipients. But despite my grumblings and occasional eye-rolling and fears that one year Gwynneth Paltrow's head will show up on our doorstep, I am filled with admiration at the senders' perseverance and their ability to keep a secret for twelve years. I mean, I can easily hold a grudge for that long, but a secret? I am not so sure I have that in me.
So this final year, we videoed the unboxing of the ultimate mysterious Christmas parcel, partly to celebrate the longevity of the tradition, partly because the Offspring was not able to share in the opening this year.
Will all be revealed? You will have to watch the video to find out.
And for the complete back story, feel free to check out the story behind previous years' parcels (or at least those that arrived since I began blogging):
- (2011) nein injured dancers
- (2011) the arrival of nein
- (2010) eight milk maids and one unibomber
- (2009) return of the seven swans
- (2009) the swan has escaped from the castle
- (2009) ignoring seven swans
- (2008) allaying those six geese
- (2007) those five golden rings only get a #7 mention on the list
- (2006) four calling birds from Philadelphia photographed on a mantel