youtube.com/The Canadian Press
youtube.com/The Canadian Press

Young Lady Gives Her Sweetheart a Gift and Dumps Him – They Open It Together 47 Years Later

Brittany Chalmers
May 30, 2022
05:00 P.M.

When a teenager was left heartbroken by his high school girlfriend, he vowed to keep the Christmas gift she got him unopened. He kept his word until his family started pressuring him to unwrap the decades-old present.


Many people hold grudges for years, and they never manage to forgive the ones who wronged them. One youngster never forgot the betrayal of his former flame, and he held onto a gift she had given him.

Years later, the mysterious Christmas gift led to incredible media attention and public intrigue. Read the unbelievable story and discover why.

Vicki Allen and Adrian Pearce. | Source: facebook.com/CTV News Channel

Vicki Allen and Adrian Pearce. | Source: facebook.com/CTV News Channel


Adrian Pearce looked forward to Christmas in 1971, and when his girlfriend handed him a shiny present, he became even more excited. However, things took a turn for the worse when Vicki Allen delivered a big blow.

She dumped Pearce, and he was devastated by the actions of his first high school sweetheart. He returned home and threw the gift under the Christmas tree, promising never to open it.

The decades-old Christmas present. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton

The decades-old Christmas present. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton


The Edmonton, Canada, resident placed the present under his Christmas tree for every year that followed, and he remained devoted to the tradition for close to 50 years. However, his wife and kids were curious about the contents of the gift.

His young daughter asked:

"Daddy, when you die, I'll be able to open it then, right?"

Adrian Pearce. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton

Adrian Pearce. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton



Pearce's story gained widespread media attention, and the unopened gift made headlines that soon reached his old love interest, Allen. A mutual friend sent both parties links to the story, and the duo got in touch after a lifetime apart.

Allen was dumbfounded when she learned her former boyfriend had not opened the gift. She couldn't believe he had withstood the temptation to open it for so many years.

"I think that's a long time to hold a grudge. It's a little worrisome. But I'm glad he did. I don't think there's anything he could have done differently that would have made me happier than what he's done with this."

Vicki Allen. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton

Vicki Allen. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton



Pearce and his wife were invited to meet with Allen in British Columbia, where they would finally open the decades-old gift. A special fundraiser was organized to raise money for the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton.

It was a fantastic way to end the mystery surrounding the present, and in 2018, onlookers watched as the decades-old gift was presented on stage.

Allen herself couldn't remember what was inside the wrapping, and when she finally saw it, she exclaimed: "Oh no! I can't give that to him!"

Vicki Allen and Adrian Pearce. | Source: facebook.com/CTV News Channel

Vicki Allen and Adrian Pearce. | Source: facebook.com/CTV News Channel



Allen pulled off the purple gift paper, revealing a small book. Pearce and his family were stunned to see the title, "Love Is: New Ways To Spot That Certain Feeling." The pair hugged and shared a brief kiss after the big reveal.

Pearce said: "Awww, that's so nice," and stated he wanted to frame the present. He also found it highly ironic that the book was filled with sayings and cartoons about love. He added:

"Love is all of us, all of you, here tonight for the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton."

While Allen didn't remember buying or wrapping the gift, she did feel bad about the choice because it was careless toward Pearce's feelings. She said: "It just shows how ignorant a 15-year-old can be."

The gift that remained unopened for 47 years. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton

The gift that remained unopened for 47 years. | Source: facebook.com/CBC Edmonton



Pearce also finally discovered why Allen dumped him, and it helped him understand why she broke up with him so abruptly and right before Christmas. She shared that she met someone else while shopping for his Christmas gift.

They kissed, and Allen recalled: "It wouldn't have been so bad, but I kissed him back." She knew their "innocent relationship" would be over if Pearce knew about the betrayal, so she decided to end things.



Allen was nervous about meeting Pearce and his wife, but they got along well and became friends. Pearce shared: "We're in a fantastic place where all you can feel is love."

Pearce, his wife, and Allen wrote a book about their experiences with the gift. Pearce provided insight into his decision to keep it for many years and explained that he was proud to have kept his oath.

The gift also helped him remember days gone by, and he noted: "Every year [the gift] brought me back to being 17 years old and innocent. And, you know, I hadn't been bashed around by life as it sometimes can."



Allen, who was also married, had no idea her actions had hurt Pearce so profoundly during high school. She was delighted that their story, which started with heartbreak, could have a happy ending.

Pearce concluded:

"Any ill feelings I have towards [Allen] are long gone. I got over it. I've been married for 40 years. And now we've become friends, so the fact that it says Love Is is actually rather appropriate now."

Pearce was thrilled to have kept his oath for so many years, and because Allen opened the gift on his behalf, he could enjoy it without breaking his promise to himself.

Click here for a story about another Christmas gift that had unexpected consequences. A mother received a DNA testing kit, which turned their festivities into a nightmare.

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