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Rated: E · Prose · Contest Entry · #2106051
After wrapping many presents, I discover they aren't tagged - There is no time re-wrap...
I sat amidst my pile of presents all neatly wrapped and ready to go. I shifted to admire my work when I noticed a tag had dislodged itself and lay off to the side. Picking it up, I shifted through the pile thinking it would be easy enough to find the missing present, when I realized all the tags had come off.

"Oh, my...." the panic that seized me, stole my breath. My eyes widened and my heart careened off the edge of the roller coaster of emotions. I could not believe it. Each gift was unmarked.... and I had no idea which tag went with which gift. I wanted to cry.

Before I could blindly mix up the presents further, I stood up and surveyed the sea of gifts at my feet. There were so many! I dragged in a breath, fighting to find a calm I knew was not going to be easy to come by this late in the evening. Christmas was almost here and I had no time to go through and unwrap and re wrap each gift to make this work. My only choice was to make the best guess.... and explain my grand mess up at the festivities tomorrow. My only saving grace was that we would all be in one place when we opened the gifts.

I had bought nothing risquet. Thank goodness! I just hoped no one would be offended if they opened something that was not theirs. Looking at the gifts I did my best to figure out who got what.

The next morning my nerves were a jumbled mess. Gone was the bliss of knowing everything was done and ready. Now I sat on the edge of my seat, strung tight as a bow. I had barely slept the night before worrying that I had ruined Christmas.

I watched my cousin handing around the gifts. Mine collected at my feet. I picked one up, opening it slowly as I watched for my gifts to make their way around the room. I knew I needed to show my own gratitude for my own gifts, but my dis - ease made it difficult. My smile seemed forced as I swam through the boiling mass of nerves that threatened to engulf me.

I saw the first as my aunt opened her gift from me. I watched as her face twisted with puzzlement as she stared at the item.

"Okay..." I said jumping up, "I have to confess..." all eyes turned to me. "I had a bit of a problem with my Christmas tags...."

My aunt began to laugh. Even before I was able to say another word, she said, "this is a game. We need to open the gifts and figure out what belongs to who, right?"

A wave of relief washed over me, "right." I said, trying to sound like that had been the way of it all along.

"Well, given that I really don't need a tool kit of 39 wrenches of various sizes and a sweatshirt that is so not my size. I am going to guess this is for Drew. Am I right?"

I nodded, unable to say anything, as my gratitude was causing tears to well in my eyes.

"This is such fun." my aunt went on as she got up to give the gifts to Drew. When she passed back by me she pulled me up into a hug. She whispered, "it happens to the best of us." and gave me a kiss on the check.

I relaxed as my family fell into the fun of matching gifts with the people that should have received them. Everyone had something to open and the guessing game proved to be another highlight of the day. Another wonderful Christmas had been had by all.

Word Count = 634

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