Things with feathers: How the bunny ate Christmas

Rebekah Tuchscherer

Wrapping presents has always been one of my favorite parts leading up to the holiday season. From picking out the perfect gift tags to watching the cheesiest Hallmark movie I can find, it’s a small tradition in the making.

By last weekend, I had about half of my shopping done. With a rare free night available, I thought it’d be a good time to get wrapping.

I grabbed the silver and cream wrapping paper I’d picked out the week before, gift tags, scissors and a roll of tape, then spread the supplies out on my bedroom floor. I stationed my MacBook on the desk chair, and cued up “Happiest Season,” aka Hulu’s version of a Hallmark movie.

For the next 90 minutes, I Christmas’ed the heck out of books, pet toys and homemade crafts. At the end, there was just one hitch. TJ.

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, I adopted TJ, a one-year-old rabbit, at the end of September. He now chomps romaine lettuce in the morning while I eat Cheerios and snoozes near the heater while I’m at the office.

While cute, he does occasionally get into trouble by nibbling at shoes, hoping on the table or — as in one instance — doing truly unspeakable things to my roommate’s Monstera plant that I won’t mention here.

And so when the time came to put beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, I was hesitant. Just two small presents were added at first, to see how he’d handle them.

Three days passed, and not a box moved. My faith restored, I nestled the rest of the gifts in between the folds of the tree skirt.

The next night, I came home to find that all the presents I had lovingly wrapped were no more.

TJ had eaten Christmas.

At first, I was miffed. After spending so much time curating and wrapping gifts, this 4-pound bundle of fluff had the nerve to tear paper edges and nip at book bindings.

But, after a few minutes of fuming, I forgave TJ and hid the presents in my closet to prevent further damage, as any good bunny parent would do.

And, in reality, TJ didn’t really “eat” Christmas. There’s still plenty more to look forward to — spending time with loved ones, making holiday cookies and, of course, giving those presents that TJ now had a part in preparing to friends and family.

Despite the hardships and hiccups that this year has brought, TJ and I would like to wish you all the happiest of holidays and a very merry Christmas.

TJ, a 1-year-old rabbit, enjoys a snooze under the Christmas tree. Photo by Rebekah Tuchscherer