The Perfect Gift
Womans Weekly Fiction Special|December 2020
The change to their Christmas plans was a shock, though it could teach them a lesson…
Margaret Skipworth

Rhonda smoothed her palm over the knitted cashmere snood. It was luxuriously soft and in the muted shade of heather, it would be an excellent Christmas present for Alyssa.

‘That’s nice.’ Rhonda’s husband checked the price tag. ‘I like the price as well.’

Ignoring his comment, Rhonda said, ‘Alyssa will find it useful when she takes Sophia out in her pushchair on cold winter days.’

‘And it won’t be too expensive to post.’

‘Honestly, anyone would think you begrudge spending money on your daughter,’ Rhonda said with a chuckle.

Of course, the snood was only a token gift. Their daughter’s main present – a pair of crystal-glass vases – was already wrapped and stowed safely away at the bottom of the wardrobe.

Rhonda had spent hours trawling shops and had been looking forward to seeing the surprise on Alyssa’s face when she unwrapped them.

But, three weeks before Christmas, Alyssa phoned.

‘Dan’s sister in Canada has asked us to go there for Christmas,’ she’d said excitedly. ‘Dan hasn’t seen her for 10 years. I didn’t mention it until now because Dan wasn’t sure he could get the time off work. I’m sorry we won’t be able to see you before we leave.’ She’d paused before saying, ‘You don’t mind, do you, Mum?’

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