I lost my Christmas gift.
And I only had it for one hour.
My husband gave me a brooch….something I had found some months ago in a side street in London and had been admiring since.
It was a stunning piece, made in the 1940s in two equal, identical parts that clasped together.
My husband surprised me by giving it to me just before we were heading for dinner with friends. I was so excited that I, of course, had to wear it. In an unusual display of energy, we decided to walk to dinner. Two thirds of the way there, I took off my overcoat to discover that half the brooch was missing.
After calling our friends to advise of the dilemma, we quickly re-traced our steps. Surely we would find it. The streets were clean, there weren’t many people around. We had only walked 10 minutes. It must still be there.
But after carefully re-tracing our steps half a dozen times, we sadly called off the search for the evening and joined our friends for a post-dinner autopsy of the whole drama.
There were many theories – drains, faulty clasps, opportunistic bower birds…and, of course, the eternal hope that someone would find it and turn it in to the police.
As my friends theorised around me, my head was swirling. I felt sick and irresponsible. I felt deeply sad.
You see, it wasn’t just a piece of jewellery or generous gift of love – it was actually a piece of art. Those two pieces of metal had been together for more than seventy years. And here, I, as the new custodian, who had it in my care for less than 60 minutes, had somehow allowed the twins to part.
Once we had finished our drinks, my friends walked home with us to yet scour yet again the same route, heads down searching, but to no avail.
The search resumed in the morning, with my husband and I enlisting our two children and re-tracing our steps. It was early morning in London, chilly, no body about. If it was there, we would find it. But, unfortunately the hope of finding my gift quickly faded again when we had walked our route a few more times without any sign of the small piece of metal.
As we stood at our door, resigned to having lost the gift, I heard someone yelling the words “Tania….found it”….I quickly swung around to see two of the people from dinner the previous night and their pyjama and coat-clad children (all under ten) who, without my knowing, had also taken to the streets that morning, to see if they could find my present.
As they approached, they clarified that they were yelling “Tania, have you found it?”…so still no result.
Now, anyone who has young children knows that getting out of bed on a cold Saturday morning is far from your first choice. But here they were, voluntarily trying to help a friend.
And (of course), to be totally sentimental – this is when I realised I may have lost my brooch, but what I had found instead was that these people were actually some truly amazing friends…people who really cared and were prepared to go out of their way to help me.
So, I may have lost my brooch – but I found some true friends….
My first-world problem (losing a small piece of jewellery) has actually been a great blessing over Christmas, as it has caused me to appreciate all the things that I haven’t lost and how fortunate I am to have the family and friends that I do have sharing this great time of year with me.
Those are the gifts to keep close.
I hope my crazy little Christmas Day story provides the same reminder for you!