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The Last Present Opened: A Spooky Gift Giving Story

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 It was a dark and wintry Christmas night
with My family altogether.
Dinner was finished with one last bite.
Everyone said it couldn’t be better.
That time of the evening had finally come.
Beneath the tree all the gifts were arranged.
Ready to be handed out one by one
for our dreaded gift exchange.
We anxiously sat in the family room,
worried about what we might receive.
Joy was rarely felt in the end
as the absence of good gifts we would grieve.
Some years we were surprised
by gifts given with great thought.
Other years, we were horribly shocked
by the things others had bought.
As the gifts made their rounds
landing in front of each person,
a nervous twinge was felt by all
as our fears began to worsen.
But something strange happened this year.
Each gift was better than the last.
This was something new indeed
and had never happened in the past.
My turn was drawing near
and my pulse began to quicken.
Would I be as fortunate as the others?
I suddenly felt quite sickened.
All I could hear was my heart
as I unwrapped the gift from Aunt Kay:
the complete Harry Potter movie box set
perfect for playing on my Blu-Ray.
My stress began melting away,
my fears turning to jubilation.
Cousin Joe’s gift was the last one left
to open this Christmas vacation.
He had the most hopeful smile
as he peeled back the wrapping paper.
And just as he saw what was inside
his terrified scream brought the room to a whisper.
And at the same time, the power went out.
The room, illuminated by candle light,
framed the horror on cousin Joe’s face
at a gift that caused him a terrible fright.
We do not speak of what was inside
Joe’s gift that Christmas Eve.
It’s too horrible, was such a bad idea,
and even worse to know it was from ME.
Gift giving doesn’t have to be scary.
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