Last winter, after returning home from a particularly brutal physical therapy session, I found a box addressed to me on my doorstep. Inside were packages of lavender bath salts—six pounds worth.
I looked in the box for a card or receipt but found nothing. I asked my husband, but he hadn’t bought the bath salts.
The next day, four boxes of tea arrived. Again, without a card.
Puzzled, I called the company that sent both packages, but it was against their policy to divulge the sender’s name. I asked if it was a promotional gift. The customer service rep said they might send out small samples of bath salts, but not six pounds.
Being appropriately suspicious, I checked my credit cards and credit report to make sure someone wasn’t trying to create identity theft. Everything was fine. (Whew)
It seems I had a…da, da, da…mystery. What would Nancy Drew do?
First, I made a list of suspects. To my surprise and delight it was rather long.
I needed to narrow it down. It was probably someone who knew that I was tired of the bitter cold winter, my muscles were sore, and that I was having trouble sleeping since the bath salts were specifically for those problems.
To my embarrassment, I realized it could be just about anyone because (lowering my head in shame) I was a whiner.
So, I focused on the suspects who had the means, motive, and opportunity.
Was the perp my lovely niece? No, she was in medical school and strapped for cash. But was she in cahoots with my mother-in-law who did have money? They have made a formidable gift giving team in the past.
Perhaps it was my friend in Florida who had suggested that I visit and warm up at her beach house?
Or, could it have been a good friend who lives in England? I wavered. She was on a gift giving spree, but usually she ships her own packages that have "Royal Mail" stamped on the side instead of going through a company. Also, her modus operandi is to send chocolate in the shape of high heeled shoes and hedgehog tchotchkes.
After making several inquiries, with everyone denying responsibility, I was back to square one. Also, I was a little embarrassed for putting people on the spot. One friend laughed and asked if she should send bath salts and tea in the future.
At that point I realized that not all mysteries are meant to be solved. Some are simply meant to be enjoyed. While I’ve officially classified this as a cold case, I’m left with a warm feeling of gratitude for the generous sender who took the time and effort to send such a thoughtful gift.
What are you grateful for this holiday season?