Your Friday Xmas Present Thread

Here at BCC, we usually save talk of Christmas presents for after the big day, but I figured it’s Friday and we’ve spent most of the week talking about torture and financial transparency, so it might be nice to talk about something more fun.
SMB, Duck Hunt, WCTM

So, two questions:

1. What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
2. What’s on your list this year?

Feel free to post links in your comments–I’ll release them from moderation if they get stuck.


  1. If it’s not clear from the image in the post above, my favorite present of all time was the original Nintendo Entertainment System that we got when I was a kid. My parents even pulled a clever trick on us:

    We had all been begging for the NES–nothing else would suffice for us that year. But when we opened up all of our presents on Christmas morning. there wasn’t anything NES-related anywhere to be seen. I remember being devastated, and my brother and sister and I were struggling to act like we were happy with our gifts and were grateful for anything. Then, after everything was all cleaned up, my Dad went downstairs to watch TV or whatever (we assumed), and then he started yelling something like, “HEY! WHO’S BEEN MESSING WITH MY TV DOWN HERE!” all angry-like. We rushed downstairs to see what the problem was, and found him sitting in his recliner chair in front of the TV, while SMB flashed up on the screen.


  2. I honestly can’t list the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten. I love being at home with my family; especially since my kids have begun escaping to out-of-state schools and on missions and the like, having them all home (as we will this year) is the BEST THING EVER. Even as a kid, Christmas was a time that things calmed down a little, my parents got along fairly well or at least it seemed that way, and there was some semblance of peace in our home.

    I have received a few things that I love – a pair of sheepskin-lined, elkhide moccasin slippers that wear like iron, for example. But I really can’t thing of things that stand out for me at Christmas.

    This year, all of my children will be here again, at least for most of Christmas Eve, until my son and his wife take off for her parents’ home. It may be the last time we manage that at Christmas. That will be present enough, although I wouldn’t turn down a Cabela’s gift card. :)

  3. My dad was often unemployed growing up and my parents found Christmas as a way to get us all something the family needed – but we each got our “own.” You probably wouldn’t believe the kind of joy we had as we all discovered we got our “own” sleeping bags, pillows, cups, and beach towels. I believe the sleeping bags was the biggest hit – eight of them all together makes for a wicked slide down the stairs. The worst gift I was given is, hands down, an Elf on the Shelf for my kid. The best gift I’ve ever given for Christmas is when, after four years of marriage, we didn’t tell our parents we did a cycle of IVF and had our families open up envelopes with sonogram pictures in them. Since marriage it’s been nice to be able to get kindles and fitbits instead of pillows and towels, but I’ve got to admit some of the magic is gone.

  4. Nothing. Just emptiness, forever.

  5. Thanks, Evans. Really, really great.

  6. I was four years old when the NES came out in the United States. In the months leading up to Christmas, my dad kept saying it would be nice to get one, but we can’t afford it.

    So when we opened it up on Christmas morning, I just kept screaming, “We afforded it!!! We afforded it!!!”

  7. Oh, and this year there’s nothing left on my list that I haven’t already bought for myself on Black Friday.

  8. My original NES is still working. Long live Super Mario Bros. 3, best game ever!!!

  9. Best present ever? Not ever having been tortured.
    On my wish list this year? Financial transparency.

    (Sorry, Boz. I couldn’t resist.)

  10. I got married a week before Christmas.

  11. My best memories are all related to procelian dolls. One year I asked for a porcelian doll and I ended up with three: one from each of my grandmothers and one from my parents. I couldn’t believe it, it felt so serendepitous. Another year I wanted a porcelian doll baby and I remember sneaking my hand underneath a lid of a silver present on Christmas morning and feeling the lacy dress and deciding to wait until last to open it, and wonder of wonders it was the porcelian baby doll. I still get a joyous feeling from even writing these memories.

  12. Kevin Barney says:

    When I was in like second grade, I received the best Christmas gift ever. It was a target shooting game, with an enclosed plastic case the size of a microwave oven, a gun at one end that shot ball bearings, and various targets inside the case. The bottom was slanted, so as you shot the ball bearings they would roll down and automatically reload the gun. So you could shoot that thing to your heart’s content. I’ve never received a Christmas present I enjoyed more. It seemed pretty high tech at the time, which is perhaps a comment on how old I am.

    I also learned a lesson in connection with that gift. For that year I decided to snoop in advance of Christmas. I actually found it in the closet of my father’s den. It was my “Santa Claus” gift, which meant it was left unwrapped and was the first thing I would see Christmas morning. I had to pretend to be completely surprised by it, and all that acting was exhausting for a seven-year old. That permanently cured me of the impulse to snoop.

  13. A weather kit sold by the American Basic Science Club in the 1960s became an important part of my elementary-school year-long science project. I think that the best Christmas gift that I ever received was a combined set of the other kits in the series, minus the weather station. I completed many of the projects, although there were others that I never tried, and I used some of the parts in improvising other things. I still have a few Palnuts that are probably the only remnants of the set at this point.

  14. My senior year of high school. Both of my brothers were on missions, and Dad had to be away to take care of his dying father. So, Christmas would just be Mom and I. We couldn’t buy many presents since no one in our family had been employed for some time. Knowing this, I only asked for one thing, a black cloak. Mom walked into Goodwill and silently asked God for the one thing her daughter wanted. She quickly spied the desired gift in the racks. That Christmas morning was comparatively quiet, but very happy.

  15. A snake. I was about 7, and I was heart set on that giant stuffed snake in the dept store window. After all the gifts were open—no snake—my obnoxious teenaged brother yelped, “I forgot!” and ran upstairs. Halfway back down, he whipped that snake at me so hard it raised a welt, but it was worth it. I cried a little, but even at that age, I recognized the tears were partly because I suddenly realized my brother DID love me. I don’t think I suspected he cared at all, until that point. but for a smelly old guy to spend his own money to make a bratty little sister happy…was sweet.

    I was also delighted with a Chinese take out box 2 years ago. Inside was a rubber duckie, with a bib that read “Coming in June— our baby!”

    I’m Old, and no longer want Stuff. A few years ago, I asked each kid, kid-in-law and literate grandkid (1, so far) to write a story for me. It had to be a memory, non-fiction, could include me or not, and it had to be long enough to tell the story properly, whether that was three lines or three pages. I told them I was serious; that was all I wanted, and I really wanted it! They ignored me. I was wrong…on Christmas morning, they each gave me a wonderful story, and a binder with sheet protectors to keep them in.
    I loved the stories so much—the insights, the unique styles– that they have kept it up every Christmas since then. I hope they continue a long time—they are really wonderful! (and cheap; they’re all starting families, with college and jobs and all, in various stages of poverty. All this requires is thought and time. ) My binder is a marvelous treasure.

  16. 1982: AT-AT.
    1988: Commodore Amiga.

  17. Best Christmas present received – my second daughter. A gift forever.
    On my list for this year – the gift of knowing that no sister in our ward is on their own this Christmas.

  18. My first RC car and a bucket of batteries. The following 6 hours are what I imagine the celestial kingdom is like.

  19. Best Christmas Present Ever – The first year I didn’t have to worry about my biological father molesting me. (He hadn’t actually done it for 4 years before, but the fear never left.) I remember falling asleep wondering why I felt so safe. I had my first dream about Heavenly Mother that night, and I woke up feeling like I might just want to live a full lifetime.

    Last year my stepfather adopted me officially, and even though I was 37 years-old, having all of my gifts say, “From Mom and Dad” instead of “Mom and Mark,” made me cry.

  20. All I want for Christmas this year is:
    1) Revelation on Heavenly Mother.
    2) Revelation that children born to sealed parents can choose to be sealed to adoptive parents at 18+ if they choose.
    3) Secret Wish, (only to be disclosed after it happens)

  21. We were pretty poor growing up, so there weren’t always a lot of gifts. My favorite though is one I only realized was my favorite years later. We had a tradition of getting a box of oranges every Christmas, so I was confused when I came across a big sunkist box with my name on it. I was trying to think what I would do with so many oranges when my parents urged me to open it up. Inside was lumber, or more specifically it was full of 2x4s cut 4,6, and 10″ long. Each piece sanded and rounded. I didn’t really get it at first, but those blocks were the basis of all the towers, forts, racecar tracks, and GI Joe fortresses for the next 5+ years. It was a strange gift, but the only gift that ever brought me happiness for so long.

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