48-year-old Christmas gift from girl who dumped Edmonton man to finally be opened

WATCH ABOVE: It's been a mystery for nearly 50 years but on Thursday night, the wait was over. An Edmonton man finally opened a 48-year-old Christmas gift from the girl who dumped him and she was there for the occasion.

UPDATE: Woman opens Christmas gift she gave to boyfriend when she dumped him in 1971

For 48 years, an Edmonton man has placed a present wrapped in shiny blue, dog-eared paper under the Christmas tree — but he has never opened it.

Back in 1970, Adrian Pearce was a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at George S. Henry Secondary School in the Toronto suburb of Don Mills, looking forward to Christmas vacation.

Then his girlfriend Vicky Allen — his first serious girlfriend — broke up with him. But during the breakup, she gave Pearce a present. He took it home and threw it under his family’s tree.

Adrian Pearce, left, and Vicky Allen, right, on a date in the 1970s.
Adrian Pearce, left, and Vicky Allen, right, on a date in the 1970s. Facebook

“After my family opened their gifts at Christmas, there was still one Christmas gift left and it’s the gift this girl Vicki had given me.

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“I told my family I’m never going to open that present,” Pearce told The Canadian Press.

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READ MORE: Edmonton man keeps unopened Christmas gift from girl who dumped him almost 50 years ago

That all changes Thursday night. Well, sort of.

For years, Pearce continued placing the present under the tree, even after he got married and had children. He said he kept it initially in case the couple got back together — but after 48 years, it’s now just a habit.

Adrian Pearce now lives in Edmonton, but has never opened the gift from his ex-girlfriend.
Adrian Pearce now lives in Edmonton, but has never opened the gift from his ex-girlfriend. Facebook

His kids kept asking him if they could open it, but Pearce refused. Eventually, his wife put her foot down and said it wasn’t welcome under the tree anymore. She’s since softened her stance and kind of likes the mystery of the unopened present too.

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Is it a photograph? A book? Chocolates? Pearce doesn’t know. Some of the tape doesn’t stick so well because one year, in a moment of weakness, Pearce started to open it and then stopped himself.

READ MORE: Family of Calgary firefighters carries on Christmas tradition for nearly 70 years

Pearce was planning to open the present on the 50th anniversary of receiving it — but after sharing his story of the gift in 2017, it went viral. In the year since, he has reconnected with Vicky Allen. She will be at the gift opening Thursday night in the Edmonton suburb of St. Albert, where the mystery will be revealed.

What’s inside is anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure — Pearce won’t be the one opening it. It’s expected his wife or ex-girlfriend will have the honour.

READ MORE: 17 parcel thefts this month spark warning from Edmonton police

— With files from Rob Drinkwater, The Canadian Press

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