Evening Discussion Thread: Your Favorite Christmas Present

Let’s change it up here a bit, and make this a thread about your favorite Christmas gift you ever got.

I’m trying to think of what mine was. A red #27 Hawks jersey in 1991 was pretty damn good, I have to say. My brother bought me Sailing The Seas Of Cheese when it came out and he was home from college. That was pretty awesome too. At an even younger age I got the Aerosmith boxset. Before you make a face it was all of their work before 1980, which is the good stuff. Maybe the best one was money to help with my trip to Portugal for Euro 2004.

Anyway, what’s yours?

  • shinkicker

    The year we got a Sega Genesis stands out, in part because I was the most naive child in the world. We unwrapped the extra controller and a game, to which I said happily, “Now all we need is a Sega!” My brother looked at me like I was a moron while mom and dad pulled out a box they’d labeled for themselves and ta-da! Sega! My six year old mind was blown.

  • mightymikeD

    Grew up shirt-tail poor so Christmases used to be pretty basic.. my birthday also happens to be Christmas Eve.. so I got the odd combined gift (but it would always be a good one) I guess I remember most the year my folks got me a Lego “Light&Sound” spaceship (this was brand new in 1986).. I can still recall, clearly, hooking the battery pack up to the flashing blue and green lights for the first time, in a darkened room. Slightly-rusted, 11th -hand ancient Raleigh racing bike in 1987 was a big deal too.

  • justforkicks

    I think the last time we celebrated christmas was one I was like 7. I got a lite brite which was pretty cool

    • mightymikeD

      lite brites!! never got one, but boy does that bring back memories!

      • justforkicks

        it was pretty awesome. a good last gift i suppose!

    • BodomSlayer

      I got a lite brite one year too…which…as I think about it was kind of weird but oh well.

      • justforkicks

        lol great story haha

        • BodomSlayer

          I’ll text it to you sometime so you can tell all your friends! lol

          • justforkicks

            haha feel free

  • mightymikeD

    re: Trip to Portugal
    I really hope you were in the stadium when England got knocked out.. I was in a hotel bar in Cambridge, texting my Dad and trying not to let my joy show too much (the news was showing reports of Engerlund thugs besieging a Portugese bar in East Anglia)

    • SamFels

      I was. Which was the first of two times i was in the stadium to see England go out on penalties to Portugal. The second was a little over a week after I was in Nuremburg to watch the US go out of the same competition. My international record is not so good.

  • I was 11 and at the height of Xmas nihilism fully knowing I was at the perfect age to get as much loot as possible. I was too old for baby stuff and too young to be dismissed so I expected a haul. It was also the year our “family” present was Pong. Our relatives lived up and down Middle America so we spent the Xmas break weeks traveling from gathering to gathering with our new-fangled Pong machine educating everyone to the shape of the future to come and I was the champion.

    The last stop was at my mom’s childhood home with the more ‘loaded’ side of the family. All other stops were warmups to the booty we would receive and become drunk with the richness of luxurious goods we didn’t deserve but expected anyway. That year, it was announced that we would limit the inter-family gifts to one person chosen by drawing straws, which I was perfectly fine with because I figured it would eliminate all the lesser gifts and produce one giant, awesome gift.

    My name was drawn by my younger-by-three-years cousin which encouraged me because he was my favorite cousin at the time and we were on the same toy mentality level. While my dad preferred our immediate family of 5 celebrate unto ourselves at the end of the season, the grandparents were allowed to gift and be gifted as much as they wished at this gathering, so we burned through their traditional gifts: cards, sweaters and giant gift card to wherever that my grandparents always gave and then got down to the one-gift phase.

    We each received our gifts wrapped so that we could open them all at one time to squeal en masse. My present, when handed to me, seemed small…and light…and flimsy…and not at all like any of the toys or games I requested. I was fortunate we did not spotlight each gift opening because I can only imagine the abject disgust my face must have shown when I realized my present was a book of biblically themed children stories. There wasn’t anything else stuck in the pages no matter how much I looked. I squeaked a half-hearted and unconvincing “thanks” to my cousin and retired from the festivities…for the rest of the day. I retired from dinner. I retired from ice cream and pie. I retired from the Pong tournament I rightfully deserved to rule.

    My mother asked what was wrong and I would only reply that I was feeling sick…because I was literally sick from feeling so betrayed. The gift I gave was extravagant (for me) and in returned I received a bunch of short stories I knew were contrived to highlight some moral example or platitude from a religion about which I frankly had already become quite skeptical. Christmas was about receiving awesome gifts and I received maybe the worst gift ever.

    We returned home the next day. As we drove, I started thinking about the things I had missed the day before when I threw myself a raging pity-party. I missed watching bowl games with the uncles, hunting leaves with my cousins, Christmas dinner with everyone, the Pong tournament everyone knew I would win and staying up late playing cards and dominos, laughing and telling and re-telling stories my family all knew and loved. And I knew then that it might be a year or two or never that I would get a chance to do that again, to feel the brittle cold as I collected firewood and to see the colorful wrapping paper burst in to flames in the fireplace as we all stood around in our socks, fighting for the warmest spot.

    The best gift I ever received was the realization that I didn’t and wouldn’t care about material gifts anymore and forever. I like gifts to be sure, and definitely received some cool gifts that year and on many other occasions. But the reality is that I generally prefer no gift at all. I love to see everyone try their best to get together, to relive old times, to be themselves because everyone in the family already knows who they are. I love that when my family is together a peacefulness and quiet strength takes hold, making the outside world, encumbered with its myriad of problems, distant and powerless. I find buying people actual presents is really difficult because I often don’t even know those closet to me enough to get a present that will genuinely excite them. Getting a gift for me, though is easy. Get me what you got me last year: just show up. I will love it and it will be the best gift ever.

    tl;dr: stop being so materialistic, jerks.

    • ahnfire

      what are you, a Hallmark/Lifetime movie? ;P

    • mightymikeD

      high-five from across the ocean..

    • mightymikeD

      Like to add, having worked in Retail for the last twelve Christmases, the only thing more disgusting than the splurging on material goods is those complete a-holes who are forming a line outside your store on Boxing Day (FYI ‘Muricans; 26th December: it’s a public holiday here) so that they can exchange or return unwanted gifts. Yup, things that people had bought for them, often with thought and care. I’ve refused to work Boxing Day for the last five years (the trade off is that I do New Years Eve/Day) because it’s easily the worst day in the retail calendar and I actually want to punch every single customer in the face for being downtown shopping/returning when they could actually be spending some more time at home with their families in their Christmas break that I didn’t get to have.

      • Holiday retail is the worst. When I was a butcher, I saw a woman sit down in a shopping crowd of 60+ people and throw a tantrum to rival any 2-yr-old’s because she couldn’t get a hen turkey 2lbs heavier than what was available.

        • Accipiter

          That was the appropriate reaction given the circumstances.

          • mightymikeD

            there’s just been a survey done in the UK where apparently 1/4 Shop Assistants “Expect to have to break up a fight between customers” over the Holiday period. I call BS.. what do you mean “Break Up?” If they’d said “Stand back and Laugh”, then I’d get it.

    • K J

      Your story has roused me out of hibernation.

      • My apologies. There is still no hockey. Sads for everyone…on the house!

  • HawksCT429

    My favorite would be my Super Nintendo, which I still have and use. What really sticks out from that, was that my brother, sister and I each had separate wrapping paper around out presents to let us know which one’s are for who. My parents brought out the SNES at the end, with both my brother’s and my wrapping paper on it, the idea being that it was ours to share. Instead we argued over who’s paper was on there more, thus determining who’s it really was.

    I still maintain that it’s mine.

  • ahnfire

    My favorite Christmas gift was a stuffed Gund polar bear that my brother bought me when I was 9, because it’s the first gift he ever gave me.

  • Z-man19

    My favorite gift was a keychain my son, who was 6 at the time, gave me. It had the number of my favorite NASCAR driver on it. He picked it out himself at school, easily the best gift I’ve gotten since I was a kid.

  • girlphoenix

    My favorite gifts have always been money for books. What a nerd.

    • mightymikeD

      Best. Chrimbo. Present. EVER!!

  • OMFS88

    A flight to make it home in time to spend Christmas with my son, who got left behind when the rest of us traveled to Paris on accident because my family is so large. We are not bad parents we were just over-enthusiastic when it came to making babies. On a side note, my son learned an awful lot about survival while we were gone which is good because most kids growing up in the suburbs never get such an opportunity. Win-win in a way. Wouldn’t you say?

    • Your traveled to Paris on accident? And the cause of the accident was your family was too large?

      *puts hands to face and opens mouth in astonishment*

    • StealingHappyHour

      That’s fantastic.

  • Rocketnose

    I worked for UPS for 35 years so Christmas was always kind of a pain in the butt. I guess now my favorite gift is being able to watch the grandkids open gifts on Christmas Eve and Day.

  • Jim A

    A Northland curved hockey stick. I still remember how thrilled I was when I saw it behind the tree. I was about 10. I took it out for a street hockey game later that day and, within five minutes, someone stepped on it and broke the blade.

  • BodomSlayer
  • nextgame

    My first hockey stick. I was about 10 yrs. old which would make it about 1968. Hespeler ‘Gordie Howe’ model. My mom did the Christmas shopping and she wasn’t exactly a big sports or hockey fan. But she knew enough to know Howe was a big name player. So she figured a Howe model had to be good. But you know what, I didn’t care that it wasn’t a Blackhawk player model.
    I’ll never forget that Christmas morning when I woke up and walked out my bedroom door (which was right off the front room, where the tree was) and saw that baby under the tree with my name on it. Good memories.
    Played many, many street hockey games using that stick for several years. Talk about strudy. It was like playing with a 2X4. That stick took a ton of abuse but still held together.