Earlier this week, they got their wish.
“It kind of shocked me because you think in a garbage bag it’s going to be garbage,” DOT equipment operator Dale Sveen said.
Dale Sveen was ready for a normal day of work on his normal route heading westbound on Highway 2 to Berthold when he noticed what looked like a bag full of trash sitting in the middle of the road.
“I thought it was a bag of garbage so I thought, I’m going to stop and grab it and put it in the truck; I don’t like garbage getting broke open and blowing all over and here it was a bag of gifts,” Sveen said.
Dale discovered the bag on a stretch of highway and miraculously the gifts inside were completely unharmed. Now the only thing left to do was find the owners.
The Department of Transportation first contacted local media outlets to spread the word about the mystery presents.
And just days before, Deanna Wojtczak was chatting with her residence manager about the holidays and her bag of gifts that had gone missing a couple of weeks ago when she caught a break.
“She’s like wait a minute. There was presents found on the highway. So she pulled up the feed on her Facebook and she showed it to me and I’m like, ‘Hey! that’s my wrapping paper,'” Wojtczak, of Minot, said.
Wojczak’s presents flew out of the bed of her truck on a trip from Minot to Wyoming just a day before Christmas Eve. Deanna was worried. She didn’t want to disappoint her children with a shortage of presents, but she was surprised by their reaction.
“Basically they said, ‘It’s okay, Mom. We’re here, we’re safe, we’re here with our family. Presents can be replaced,'” Wojczak said.
“She felt way better when we told her we didn’t care about the presents, we cared about our family being together,” daughter Seara Wojczak said.
But 19 days after Christmas, the Wojczaks would be reunited with their long-lost presents.
“I’m very thankful that they were found and I’m very thankful that we have people that would return them and things like that,” Wojczaks said.
“I felt really good when Jim told me they had found them, the people that owned them which makes you feel good, because you knew somebody was going to have a white Christmas, so it was a good feeling, it really was,” Sveen said.
3 weeks after the gifts fell out of the Wojtczak’s truck, they were returned to their owners in perfect condition, overcoming unlikely odds and wrapping up a perfect ending.
“It’s just great to be able to reunite them with where they’re supposed to be. I had feelings in the last week that maybe we were never going to and then what do we do with it. This was a great ending,” DOT District Engineer Jim Redding said.