Myra Mizon sent her nieces a Christmas card and cheque in the winter of 2010.
They never got it.
And one day nine years later, when Ms Mizon collected her post, she discovered the card and £10 cheque she had sent almost a decade ago.
The Kent grandmother had sent the small present to her niece Jenny and great-niece Chanel and assumed it had been lost among the millions of festive letters and parcels at the Royal Mail, after they never received it.
But just weeks ago, the 78-year-old was flabbergasted when it resurfaced, in pristine condition.
“You can’t make up a story like that, you really can’t," she said. "I just thought, where has it been? It wasn't even open - no one had attempted to open it."
Royal Mail had apparently attempted to deliver the card, which featured a picture of The Snowman from the classic animation, to Jenny, now 39, and Chanel, 18, in Chelmsford, Essex.
It was then sent back to Ms Mizon, who had written her return address on the back of the envelope.
Ms Mizon, from Herne Bay, Kent, said: "It was Christmas, and I would imagine lots of mail goes missing for whatever reason.
"I just forgot about it and reimbursed my niece with a cheque for the money,” she said.
"It's a bit of a joke. When you pay your money for a card to be delivered, you don't expect to have to wait eight or nine years."
Ms Mizon said she was told by Royal Mail customer services, which also offered her a book of first class stamps by way of compensation, that her post could have gone missing due to issues with a former employee.
It said a temporary worker had to be dismissed at about the same time after numerous complaints were lodged about letters not turning up, and an employee was found to have been stealing post.
She said: "They did find out who the person was, and he was immediately sacked. But they can't say for sure whether my card was one of the ones they stole. We'll never know.
"It may also have got stuck somewhere in the machinery, and perhaps they found it when they were having a clear-out."
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "It is difficult to speculate what may have happened to this item of mail.
"Royal Mail regularly checks all its delivery offices and clears its processing machines daily.
"Once an item is in the postal system then it will be delivered to the address on the card."
Additional reporting by SWNS
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