Dead letters are pieces of mail that can’t be delivered to their intended recipients. (Dead Letters is also the fifth studio album from Finnish rock band The Rasmus, but that’s beside the point).
I was searching the spare room for some clothing earlier and came across a Marks & Spencer carrier bag. It was a bag I’d forgotten about, but when I saw it I knew exactly what was in it.
It contained two Christmas stockings and a small parcel.
I’d been trying to find stockings for years and I finally found some that I was happy with. Regular readers will know I love Christmas and I was so looking forward to being able to give these stockings to people filled with presents. I was even trying to pick gifts that would fit in them, and I liked that it meant I could get lots of small things that would take time to open, prolonging the fun. I knew I wouldn’t be able to give the gifts on Christmas Day but I would at some point and I loved the idea straight away that I could do so in such a traditional way. I also thought the recipients would love the idea.
In my own head, as well, because I used to have a Christmas sack as a kid, it kind of felt like a show of commitment, like it would represent years worth of giving. I guess I made it overly symbolic. The gifts would long be unwrapped and then the next year I could refill the stocking with more.
Also in the bag was a small parcel wrapped in green and orange tissue paper. In the paper was a handmade straw rabbit I’d found in a market or small craft shop (I can’t remember which). I saw it and instantly had to get it for a specific person. I wrapped it in those specific colours so I didn’t lose or ruin the tissue paper in my massive pile of wrapping and I put it aside, thinking it would make a good Easter gift. Yes, I planned that far in advance!
As it happens, I’ve been unable to use the stockings or deliver the present due to circumstances I didn’t see at the time. I debated giving the rabbit to its intended recipient but, it didn’t feel right. I thought about giving it to the intended recipient anonymously, but that felt even less right and was a logistical no go considering it wouldn’t fit through my standard letter box. I then debated giving it someone else, but that didn’t feel right either – the colours of the tissue paper were chosen specifically for that person. I thought about unwrapping it and putting it on my stuff shelf but, because of the thought I’d put in to the wrapping, that (again) didn’t feel right.
I fear that I’ll have the same issue with the stockings this forthcoming Christmas. Essentially the entire contents of that bag could have been given to someone else, but they were intended for two very specific people and for some reason I can’t get my head around giving them to others.
Not so much dead letters, but pretty close.
I should have seen it would be this way
I should have known from the start what she’s up to
When you have loved and you’ve lost someone
You know what it feels like to lose
Not Like The Other Girls by The Rasmus