The book that made me want to be a writer — The Phantom Tollbooth — opens with the reader being told to pay close attention to Milo receiving a surprise gift because, one day, the reader may come home and find a mystery gift, and if the reader reads carefully, they will know exactly what to do.
When I was little, I always hoped that I would receive a mystery gift.
And now I’ve grown up and received two.
The first gift came a few years back. A book mysterious popped up in my mailbox after I received a mysterious, anonymous email. I was able to deduce the sender after a few days and thank her directly. I love that book and still keep it handy and use it.
The second gift came yesterday. I went to the mailbox and there was a package slip inside. The postmaster handed me a large envelope and inside, without a note or packing slip or any explanation, was a fantastic book:
I drove around, trying to figure out who would send this to me. Like Milo, I found myself thinking, “I don’t think it’s my birthday, and Christmas must be months away, and I haven’t been outstandingly good, or even good at all.”
And that is the deliciousness of the mystery gift: you not only get the present itself, but you get to unravel the mystery.
It took about an hour of thinking and staring at the illustrations in the book to come up with my first guess. A clue had been left on Facebook, weeks ago, that led me to the person. I felt like Sherlock Holmes when I sent her my note.
Thank you, Lori, my mysterious gifter, for the untranslatable words. You know how much they mean to me, especially when you find the perfect one that states exactly what you need to say.
I’m normally not a big fan of surprises, but I think I make the exception for mystery books. Surprise trips, surprise parties, surprise experiences… not really my thing. But surprise books? That makes my day.
How do you feel about surprises? And have you ever received a surprise gift?