My best Chistmas gift

I remember Christmas '84 very well. I was seven years old and as usualy we'd celebrate Christmas Eve at home. Then we would eat together, unwrap gifts and go to church at midnight.

This year I had gone with my parents to Ghent for some last minute shopping while my sister stayed home alone. When we came home, our neighbour ran onto our driveway. He was almost going to say something but when he saw me getting out of the car, he seemed to swallow his words again. He simply signed a big square in the air and pointed at his house and my dad immediately said he'd come over right away. I was looking back and forth from them but couldn't get their code language at all.

At that moment my sister bursted into the garage all confused.
"Something really strange happened when you were gone. Some lady came at the door and when I told her that I was alone at home she became very nervous. ..."
"...Then she acted so weird: she asked when we'd come home, and then she looked at the garden house and asked whether we used it..."
"...and then she asked whether we got along well with our neighbours. When I said yes, she simply left".
"...and she didn't come back. I don't know why she asked all those weird questions".

My parents didn't respond immediately but said that my dad first had to go to the neighbours to hear what it was all about.

After while he was back and then they revealed to us that they had ordered a present to be delivered to us this afternoon. But the lady had come earlier than agreed and knew the present was a surprise for my sister and me, so she didn't dare to leave the present behind with us. Neither in our garden house as my sister could go and look. So in the end she had gone over to the neighbours and given our present to them. Our neighbour would come and deliver it in an hour or so.

Wow, how exciting. My sister and I immediately started wondering what our mystery gift could bee. Our imagination went wild. While we had to help my mom setting the holiday table, we kept popping up guesses: a big trampoline, a slide, ... or an animal ...yeah a pet would be cool, although our mom would never let us have a pet. Our cousin had those very very cute kittens, but we could not have one....A cat would be cool, but maybe the present would be much bigger. If it sounded very loud, it would be an elephant! We'd hear boom boom boom on the driveway! And a mouse could ride on its back!

The fact that the present had come in a normal car, didn't matter to us at that moment. We got all excited in our imagination while my mom got more and more stressed and probably regretted their idea already.

Finally the doorbel rang and our dad went to open the door to let our neighbour in. He carried indeed a big box...but not at all a nice wrapped gift box. He was carrying a big cardboard diaper box. On the front there were 2 very big holes cut out of it and a belt was closing the box off. The box itself seemed to move a little bit.

When it was deposited in front of the Christmas tree, the opened the lid ... and a big grey Persian cat jumped out and ran to the other side of the room. She was big, much bigger than the little kittens I had been playing with when visiting my family. I was totally startled and a bit afraid of this long-haired animal that was moving around on the other side of the room.
My sister recovered first and went to kneel down at the door holding her hand out in front of her. Soon this cat came over and let herself be petted by my sister. My curiosity soon won my fear and I kneeled beside them to touch our new pet as well. Bijou also overwon her fear of this totally new environment and let herself be petted and gave a good approving pur.

From then on for the next 11 years Bijou has been my dearest pet, companion and friend. And every Christmas I have to think back to this remarkable present that we received under the Christmas tree.


Drun said…
Ik denk dat zelfs ik die nog gezien heb. Kan het zijn dat dat een enorm dikke grijze pluizenbol was?
anno said…
Hmmm.... and are you hoping for something similar this year?

Merry Christmas!
david santos said…
I wish you a good end of 2007 and a good year of 2008.
What a lovely story! And yes, can there ever be anything better than a pet? I'm glad Bijoux was such a wonderful companion!
Wow- that is a great story! Hope you've had a wonderful Holiday!

Goofball said…
@Drun: yep, een grote grijze pluizenbol, da's een goeie beschrijving :)
Wholly Burble said…
Wonderful Christmas present story--one you'll never forget I'm sure.

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