The following is a mystery I have been sharing with listeners on the air and Facebook friends.
This past Monday, I opened our front door to find a wrapped platter of fresh baked cookies with a tag on it labeled "On the 1st Day of Christmas" printed on a computer.
How nice, I thought. It's our good neighbor friends, the family that just moved in.
But when I went over to find out, they denied it categorically. Not them, they swore.
Tuesday came with another tin of baked goods. No name. Just another tag corresponding now to the "2nd" Day of Christmas.
Obviously being in the public light and hosting a sometimes controversial radio show kept us on our toes.
And anyway, who sends BAKED GOODS to someone and expects them to willingly OPEN THEM AND EAT THEM even though they have NO CLUE who they are from??
Secret Santa was cool when you were 9. But when you're almost 40 and raising a family and someone does this, the act once seen as a staple of childhood just gets downright weird, doesn't it?
I mean, it's one thing for kids in class or co-workers at the Salt Mines to do stuff like this for each other.
But in this wild, wild world of ours? To have food on your doorstep from God knows WHO?
I couldn't believe it.
Was it our rooster neighbor from HADES trying to make amends? And why would he spend all this time and money after being an unrepentant JERK?
Was it our nice neighbors after all, just telling us a white lie in denying it was them to keep the charade and good cheer going?
Was it a church group or local Boy or Girl Scout troop just doing something festive for people at random during Christmas time?
Was it an admirer? Of mine? My wife's? One of our kids?
Was it our ghosts finally coughing up some appreciation for living with us rent free?
Well, I finally Googled it today and was SHOCKED to find out this is apparently a tradition that somehow managed to evade me all these years.
Website after website turned up stories of people doing this very same thing. Some even had long lists of suggestions on WHAT to leave people.
Heartwarming stories of people doing it for invalid folks, people whose spouses were at war, those who recently had some tragedy or hard luck fall upon them, or just for the heck of it, made me feel a little silly.
But still, these days you NEVER know.
And even if its meant in good cheer. Who in their right mind would eat food that just turns up on their doorstep?? And who would go through that trouble assuming the recipient WOULD enjoy the fruits of their labor? Whoever did this spent hours in front of an oven. Why think the food would ever get EATEN??
Well, our Secret Santa has managed to evade security cameras, electrified fences, rabid dogs, land mines, gun turrets, and a watch tower manned by level 85 elite ogre patrols.
If they follow the protocol of this tradition, they will reveal themselves to us in about a week.
We shall see.
At the very least, it has helped me polish my detective skills and follow a mystery that is still a bit too close to home.
Merry Christmas, my friends.And remember, I would never do this. So if you get a gift and it's not signed by me, I can't vouch for the sender!
Hey, maybe on the 12th Day of Christmas, it will be my MacBook Pro.
You can't blame a guy for dreaming now, can you?