December 25th, 1899

My Anne-girl,

 

So much of our courtship thus far has been conducted in writing—oh, for the days when we can skew that ratio in favour of in-person meetings—that it didn’t feel right not to include a letter as part of my Christmas present to you. I am no poet, nor will I embarrass myself with an attempt to be one, but I hope my prose alone is enough to express how profound my love for you is. As I sit here in my own room, the sounds of my family drifting up from below, I am hit with visions of both the past and the future and I feel that I must share them with you.

 

First, the past. I find myself looking back fondly upon that not-so-long-ago Christmas after my return to Avonlea with Bash. While I knew deep down that returning was the correct choice, I was still wracked with the occasional doubt. I still felt somewhat adrift, unsure of my path and my ability to achieve my goals, and worried that I had dragged Bash into a life he would come to resent in a place that was not so welcoming to him. And then we found ourselves in your parlour, welcomed openly into your family. Seeing you enter the room sent a thrill through my chest, and I still don’t quite recall what I even said, if anything at all. We then seemed to share a moment as we blew out the candles on the tree, and I knew then that I had made the right choice in coming home, and that there was nowhere in the wide world I would rather be. It may have taken us a few years to get there, but I am firmly convinced that my life was meant to be spent by your side, equal partners and soul mates.

 

And that brings me to my visions of the future. I hope you won’t think me forward, but I also know you won’t judge me in thinking so when I say my mind is often occupied with thoughts of our life together and all that could entail. Being surrounded by my family, by the sounds of a happy household, and by the comforts of a loving home, make me dream of what our own will someday hold. I imagine the sounds of our own children’s voices mingling with those of our dear Delly. Of Matthew basking in the role of grandfather. Of Hazel and Marilla admonishing the children lovingly, even as they sneak them a treat. Of Bash being the doting, teasing uncle he is bound to be. And of you and I sitting in the candlelight of our own Christmas tree, sharing a moment not entirely unlike that one we had that now-long-ago Christmas. I know it may seem so early to be thinking such things, and we have so long to go before that may even become a glimmer of a possibility, but I wanted you to know, my Anne with an E, that it is indeed a possibility I welcome with open arms and an open heart. The future holds many possibilities and innumerable paths, but each and every one contains you. I can’t imagine it any other way.

 

I have just caught sight of the time and realize I must wrap up this letter—literally and figuratively, as it is meant to be included with your present—and make ready to see you in person at Christmas dinner. Nothing I can write will ever fully express my love for you, but I am ready to spend the rest of my life showing you just how deep that sentiment goes.

 

Merry Christmas, my love. May it be one of a lifetime more spent by your side.

 

Yours devotedly,

 

Gil

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