He had been holding onto it for nearly half a century.
But Thursday night, Adrian Pearce finally found out what was in the gift given to him by his ex-girlfriend when she dumped him.
In 1970, the Toronto man was only 17 years old and in Grade 12. His girlfriend was Vicky Allen, a fellow student.
Just before the holiday, Allen broke up with Pearce, but also gave him a present.
Pearce took the gift home and put it under his tree. Come Christmas morning, he still wouldn't open the gift.
Every year he'd place the gift under his tree and every Christmas he wouldn't open it.
In 1970, his high school girlfriend gave him a Christmas gift- then dumped him. 48 years later, he’s set to finally… https://t.co/A9UGLZQSj6— CityNews Edmonton (@CityNews Edmonton) 1544149518.0
People speculated about what could be inside.
If this doesn’t scream Canada I don’t know what does https://t.co/IkS8AgGcmL— Ashley (@Ashley) 1544155882.0
I want to know more about whats in here than anything else this holiday season!! 🤔 48-year-old Christmas gift from… https://t.co/0p9mtn65a7— Scoop McTail (@Scoop McTail) 1544155342.0
Any guesses? Hmmm 12th grade in 1970...what does a young lady give a young man for Christmas?!?...I'm going to say… https://t.co/wbCkobgS2e— Brenda Dobson (@Brenda Dobson) 1544135948.0
Tonight's the night Adrian Pearce finally finds out what's inside the present his ex-gf gave him 48 years ago! My p… https://t.co/TneND7nIlg— Madeleine Cummings (@Madeleine Cummings) 1544140484.0
"The irony is extreme:" Edmonton man finally finds out what's inside a Christmas gift given to him 48 years ago by… https://t.co/hfBPkhqIog— Global Edmonton (@Global Edmonton) 1544199069.0
@CityNewsYEG @cspotweet What if the present is a copy of his book and she admits she’s a time traveler.— Super Smashed Bro (@Super Smashed Bro) 1544229139.0
@CityNewsYEG @cspotweet The 70s? It was prob a package of quualudes & a Pink Floyd album 😂— Chelsea (@Chelsea) 1544205081.0
Pearce was quoted as saying:
"I told my family I'm never going to open that present."
The tradition continued even after he got married and had kids.
While his family has asked him to open it, he's refused. While Pearce was planning on opening the gift on the 50th anniversary, the story went viral in 2017. Because of this, he has reconnected with Vicky, and decided to allow the gift opened this year.
At a fundraiser for a local charity on Thursday, with both his wife and ex-girlfriend in tow, Pearce allowed his gift to be opened. True to his word, he did not open the present. Instead, Vicky Allen had the honors.
She ripped away the packaging to reveal a 'new' copy of Love Is…: New Ways To Spot That Certain Feeling by Kim Grove, a little book with cartoons and sayings about love.
No one seemed to have guessed that.
@GlobalEdmonton That's actually really cute. I bet she was hoping he would've read that back then. Who knows... may… https://t.co/WLc5VhnuuG— Vennessa Alisha (@Vennessa Alisha) 1544164151.0
@CityNewsYEG @cspotweet Good thing it wasn’t a puppy— jimmy vice (@jimmy vice) 1544206866.0
@CityNewsYEG Now we wait for the movie to be made— Michael 🖖 (@Michael 🖖) 1544208903.0
@CityNewsYEG Sounds like one of those @hallmarkchannel Christmas movies— Roya Rafei (@Roya Rafei) 1544228520.0
@CityNewsYEG https://t.co/ndlw3AObLi— Jim McMahon (@Jim McMahon) 1544228832.0
@CityNewsYEG She was dumping him and gave him a book about love phrases!? No wonder why sadists seek out masochists… https://t.co/T4BFAUpXGd— Marisa Moretti (@Marisa Moretti) 1544295373.0
@CityNewsYEG It’s a weird thing for his wife to put up with. His endless pining must be getting old.— Matt Tremblay (@Matt Tremblay) 1544256566.0
@CityNewsYEG I would have preferred an Xbox but that's just me— Vishal (@Vishal) 1544208975.0
After the story first went viral, Pearce tried to track Vicky down with little luck. She had moved to a different province, and all attempts at a phone number failed. It wasn't until after a mutual high school friend shared the story on Facebook, that Allen found out she was the subject of a nearly 50 year mystery.
She reconnected with Pearce, and the two and Pearce's wife all wrote a book together about the experience called The 47 Year Old Present.