Monday, December 9, 2013

Purrsonal Stories: Best and Worst Christmas Gifts


The holidays are right around the corner, so that got me thinking about Christmas gifts. We all know it's the thought that counts, but there are better and worse gifts out there.

Probably my favorite gift is my first Kindle (Generation 2). I got this for Christmas 2009 from my parents, and it opened my world to e-books. What better gift is there than the gift of reading (Amazon gift cards to buy more books are in a close second)? I read Stephen King's Ur as my first Kindle book. That's how special that Kindle is. I remember what book I read first. I don't use my old Kindle anymore, since I much prefer my Kindle Fire HD (a Christmas gift to myself last year), but that first Kindle will always hold a special place in my heart.

The worst Christmas gift has left an impression on me since I was five years old. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture to show you of that gift. I was in Kindergarten at our Christmas party. Everyone was required to bring one wrapped gift to exchange with our classmates. We went around the room, one by one, opening our present and telling everyone what we got. Excitement buzzed in the air.

I anxiously awaited to open my gift. What would it be? Was it a new toy? A coloring book? A picture book? Crayons? A stuffed animal? It felt a bit like a stuffed animal, soft and squishy. I hoped for something good like everyone else was getting. I was one of the last ones to get to open up my gift.

The kid beside me opened her gift. Paper fluttered in the air like multicolored birds. She proudly showed off her new toy.

The teacher said I could open my gift next.

I ripped into the paper and pulled out ... SOCKS!

Hot pink wool socks with a big purple button on the side. Adult-sized socks.

"What did you get, Cherie?" the teacher asked sweetly.

"Socks." I huffed and tossed them onto my desk.

Children giggled.

I wanted to cry.

Every single child got a toy or coloring book or something fun. I got socks. What kind of @#$%! person thinks socks make a good Christmas gift for a five year old!? It still makes me sad and angry to think about those socks because it made me different from everyone else. True, I like being different now, but when you're five, you really want to fit in and getting the lamest gift in the world while everyone got something fun just sucked. So, yeah, worst Christmas present. I'd have rather gotten nothing. At least then I would've just been sad instead of embarrassed, angry, and sad.

I'm not really sure what happened to those socks. I probably stuffed them in a drawer somewhere or gave them to Goodwill. *shrugs* But I won't forget them.

What's your best and/or worst Christmas gift?

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Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry! Socks are lame at any age. The kid who gave socks should've had to open his own gift.

Christine Rains said...

Wow. Yeah, what sort of person would get socks for a kid like that? I did get some new socks for Brandon, but I just put them in his drawer. I won't wrap them as a gift!

My best gift was the TV I kept asking for year after year and finally got at 16. Then the worst - aside from the horrible knit Christmas sweaters - was a chalkboard on which "Santa" spelled my name wrong. (A drunk neighbor wrote it!) Since there were two other girls in my neighborhood with my same name just spelled a little differently, I refused to have anything to do with the gift thinking it was for one of the other girls. Thus I got nothing and was upset that Santa forgot about me.

Aubrie said...

Ha! I would have hated socks in Kindergarten. Now, I love them. that makes me sound very old, now doesn't it?

Julie Flanders said...

Aww, what a horrible disappointment for a little kid. :(

I got a Kindle as a Christmas gift too and it's definitely one of my favorite gifts ever.

M.J. Fifield said...

I remember one Christmas I gave my godson (probably five at the time) some clothes (he had other non apparel gifts from me too) and he opened the box and said "Ugh. Clothes! That's a terrible gift!"

His mother was appalled, but I laughed then, and I still laugh now.

And every year growing up, my siblings and I would always have underwear waiting for us under the tree. Lamest gift every year.

M Pax said...

Socks? Wow. I got a hanger one year. Serious. It was lame.

The best gifts have been just being together, and I do like when Husband Unit surprises me with something from the jewelry store or a new eyepiece for my telescope or I really like the camera he gave me a few years ago.

River Fairchild said...

Kindle (and Amazon GC) are awesome gifts! I remember my kids always being mortified when they'd come home from my MIL's house with gifts of underwear from her...only underwear...every year.

River Fairchild said...

I think a hanger wins the "lame" award...can't even wear it!

Anonymous said...

Clothing as a gift for kids is always sucky. I remember one year when I was young I had some relatives give me shirts for some sports team I didn't even like for Christmas. I think I wore them once.

Unknown said...

Those were really good stories -- great glimpses into your past. At Christmas, my mom regularly gave us socks, toothpaste, chewing gum, batteries, and underwear (the cotton kind). She grew up during the Depression and was very frugal. I think my best gift was from my high school bestie who gave me a perfume i really wanted - "Charlie." I bet no one even remembers how popular that once was. lol

Cathy Keaton said...

Something like that happened to me in pre-school! I won't share it here, but, trust me, I can completely relate....-_-

I don't mind getting socks nowadays, so long as they're the kind that will keep my feet really, really warm. Those are the best!

Nicole said...

One of my fave gifts was the Polar Express (complete w jingle bell!) when I was little. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Socks are a terrible gift. Can't believe a kid gave them to you. My favorite gift is a night light to clip on my books to read when my husband is sleeping.

StratPlayerCJF said...

Great stories and perfect for the holidays! I also received my first Kindle as a Christmas gift, but it was the first Kindle Fire just a few years ago -- I was a late bloomer in the e-books garden, but now I love them (and, yes -- I can remember my first book read on it too: "Chasing Darkness" by Robert Crais).

And one of the ways I realized I'd grown to be an "adult" (at least in some ways), was when I got socks and underwear as a Christmas gift and liked them. :)

Jessica said...

Aww, I definitely would've reacted the same way if I had gotten socks as a 5-year-old. Funny thing is, now I'd love to get a pair of cozy socks for Christmas. Like Dumbledore :)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want socks. The Kindle is an amazing gift. I bought mine, but my iPad was a gift.

Heather R. Holden said...

Wow, socks for a present? No wonder you were upset!