They always took their Christmas tree and decorations down on the feast of the Epiphany. That was January the 6th – the day the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem.
Mother would bake an Epiphany Pie – it was a family tradition. There was a trinket hidden inside the pie, and whoever got the trinket was King or Queen for the day and got to wear a crown. Strange how it happened, but the three children (Eloise, Ruby and Matthew), seemed to take turns, year by year, in finding the trinket in their pie portion.
But something even stranger ALWAYS happened. When they took the decorations from the tree, they always each found a Christmas gift hidden in the branches. They’d missed finding these gifts on Christmas Day.
“I can’t believe we missed finding these presents in the branches on Christmas Day,” said Eloise.
“I check the tree all the time,” said Matthew. “I can’t believe I didn’t see them.”
“I looked too,” said Ruby. “I must be blind.”
It wasn’t until they were well into their twenties that it dawned on them on a family-do-you-remember-evening: it was Mother who had hidden the gifts. After that, strangely still, when they’d flown the nest, and Mother had to take down the decorations on her own, she’d find three gifts hidden in the branches. They were for her, and she hadn’t put them there herself.