A full place setting of china – I was 12 years old and one of 14 children, 8 of whom were girls. My mother gave the setting to me and I think she was thrilled that she now had an easy and practical gift to give her children My sisters and one brother starting receiving place settings of china as well, except for one sister who had the foresight to tell my mother that she only wanted a place setting in black. My mother could not abide the thought of buying black dishes (this was in the 1970’s) so my one sister lucked out of the Christmas/Birthday place setting gift. Incidently, I still have my place settings – Spode, The Queen’s bird – now discontinued. It is actually very nice. Some of my sisters got very old fashioned settings – purple violets with gold rims, etc. – yechh.
But Christmas is also a time for theological and spiritual reflection on important foundations of the Christian faith, including the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth.
Becky Sun is a senior editor for Iconoculture, a consumer insights company. She now lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children, whose stockings are filled with care every Christmas Eve.
As I remember back to my childhood, it seems that I was always getting “almost” the real thing when it came to toys. There were many popular toys, but somehow my parents always managed to get something close, but not quite. When I was about 10 years old, everyone was getting pogo sticks. The basic model was a pole with a heavy-duty spring on the bottom and two rubber foot pads to stand on. However, the model I received that Christmas also had large rubber ball attached to the top of the pole. It probably was for safety purposes, but I remember the first time using this contraption, I grabbed hold of the ball and started to bounce. Boy, was I surprised when the ball came off in my hand and the pole went wild, almost knocking me out.
I am a military child, but I have only been one for 3 years. For 12 years, I lived with my family and friends in my home town. When I moved all the way to Hawaii, Holidays were so lonely,. This is where my best gift comes in. All of my family and friends had a cell phone, but I didn’t so I could only talk to them like once a month. If I would have had a phone, I could have texted them like every day. But that Christmas I got a phone and now I can communicate with them more!
One Christmas when I was about 8, we received a package from our cousins in California. We waited until all the other gifts were open before we cut through the brown paper box. We were all excited because they had never sent us gifts before. There was a bunch of rotten bananas, some old quarts of used paint and other garbage. All three of us kids were very disturbed and confused, and I don’t remember my parents having much to say, especially my father, whose brother had sent the package. Forty years later, I still don’t get it.
My most memoriable gift i have ever recived was a panio. The reason was because it helped me to learn a musical instrument and help me do something instead of watch tv all the time. It is memoriable is because it made my christmas the year i got it.
The worst as in destructive: My brothers sometime in the 1950s received an air gun and shot the ornaments off the revolving aluminum Christmas tree.
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I should have known my marriage was over when I got ice cube trays from my husband for Christmas. I’d survived the coffee-pot-when-I-didn’t-drink-coffee year. And the year of three boxes of clothes all in the wrong size. But ice cube trays? The message was clear. I just didn’t see it for another few years.
The best gift I have ever received is a giant teddy bear. When I was younger I was way into stuff animals, one of my friends had this giant teddy bear so of course after i saw hers i had to have one. On Christmas morning I ran down stairs and saw the giant white teddy bear and i fell in love. I didn’t put that It down for two weeks. These days i am wanting things like Wii’s and ipods, but every Christmas morning I bring my giant white teddy bear to help me open my new Christmas presents.
I think I’m the only child in America who ever received coal and a letter on special Santa stationery outlining exactly why I was on Santa’s naughty list. I was 4 and a newly minted big sister, a role I did not take kindly to. Apparently, Santa (ahem, my father) thought I should be more welcoming of our newest family member. To this day, I still eye my stocking suspiciously before reaching in; I’ll never forget the shame of pulling out that Ziploc bag with a charcoal briquette in it. Oh, and yes, I got lots of other really great toys that Christmas, too. Or so I’m told. I don’t really remember.
My favorite gifts are books, because if you are sad, they suck you into their world, and you pretend to be a character in the book. If you are sad, sometimes there bad times help you feel better, because you have someone to indentify with.
Something seems to happen to people when they become adults. They forget what they wanted for Christmas as kids and buy children clothes, things they think they “need” or perhaps they just no longer care.