‘Of course I love it’ – Writers remember past gifts
by Staff Writer
In honor of Dec. 26, here’s a few fun tales of some of our writers’ not-so-great gifts.
I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to Christmas presents.
I haven’t had a nightmarish one, but when I was about nine, I got one of those sausage, cheese and crackers Christmas packages from a relative.
I can’t remember who gave it to me, but I remember telling my parents, “Food isn’t a present! You can get that all the time! That’s for older people.”
I’m pretty sure my parents took it and used it for hors d’oeuvres for New Year’s.
About 16 years later, I’d be thrilled to get something like that. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
– Aaron Burns, staff writer
I was a mouthy kid, about 11 or 12 at the time.
I shook the wrapped box, which made a heavy clunking sound.
“What’s this?” I blurted. “I hope it’s not a Soap-On-a-Rope.”
Because an aunt had recently become a fervent Avon salesperson, our house, my grandmother’s house and most nearby included Soap-On-A-Rope. I thought it was a stupid concept. Still do. I have two hands that work fine holding soap.
Naturally, I tore open the box to find the present I was hoping against.
My face turned 19 shades of red, and I couldn’t look my aunt in the face for years. Lesson learned. Now I smile at every gift. Quietly.
– Cliff Mehrtens, sports editor
I’ve gotten everything for Christmas, from Lego’s, puzzles and the wire-twisty things in my younger days to suits, shirts, ties, basketball shoes, and all sorts of gadgets in my later years. Some of the gadgets have me showing my age.
I don’t recall getting a favorite present or even something I disliked enough to return (I wouldn’t admit it anyway), but I can say this: What I want for Christmas is what I want most days: key lime pie, oatmeal and scallops. Not necessarily together, but why not? The three of them fit most of the food groups.
Oh, I forgot. I did get the wrong present the Christmas before I turned 16.
I wanted a car. I got a bike. A nice bike. But, still a bike.
– Glenn Proctor, executive editor
This is the story of the best Christmas present I NEVER got.
I was probably 8 or 9 when it started. I used to play with the clay outside my granny’s house. I’d craft little bowls, plates – a whole dining set sometimes – out of the blue-ish-gray clay near Albemarle Sound. I’d leave it sitting in the sun for days hoping that one day I might be able to eat my Cap’n Crunch out of one of my masterpieces.
Then I discovered pottery wheels and asked for one for Christmas. Early on the morning of Dec. 25, I tore through ribbons and wrapping paper, through Barbies and board games, but there was no pottery wheel.
Suffice it to say I was disappointed.
But I’m nothing if I’m not stubborn, so the next year I again added “pottery wheel” to my list for Santa. Nothing.
By the next year, I’m almost a teenager. Maybe Santa thinks I can handle the mess? Apparently not.
I was halfway through high school before I stopped asking. Each year “pottery wheel” made the list, and each year I was surrounded with a lot of amazing gifts – not one of which was a pottery wheel.
Now that I’m 24, I realize that I could simply go out and buy one, or better yet, join a real pottery class. But that stubborn 12-year-old inside me demands that I get it as a Christmas gift, or not at all.
– Courtney Price, managing editor