So today we thought we’d talk about presents. We all know they shouldn’t be the most important thing about Christmas, but who doesn’t dream of receiving that one, really perfect gift? And sometimes we actually get it! Here are some of our favourite ever gifts:-
Sue – A candy pink spacehopper. I was about eight-years-old and living in Malta and it seemed as if every other kid I knew had a spacehopper. I was desperate for one. My parents said they didn’t think I could have one that year as we were packing up to return to the UK and a spacehopper would take up too much room in the boxes. So I was delirious when I found it waiting for me by the tree – and I worked out that spacehoppers deflate so it wouldn’t take up much room at all …
Juliet – I’d have to go back many years to my childhood, when I still believed in Santa! The most amazing gift I remember was a black and white kitten, and I named him Micky. Funnily enough, the two cats who’ve adopted us since have also been black and white – coincidence, or what?
Evonne – Not exactly favourite – but a bit of a mystery. A large toy mouse, dressed as Father Xmas. He was a secret Santa gift at work and I still don’t know who gave him to me, or why. Out of his uniform for the rest of the year, he sits in my study and listens as I try out dialogue on him.
Kate – I’m going to cheat on the favourite present question, because while I’ve had some lovely Christmas presents, my most favourite present, the one that sticks out, in my whole life, is the one I got for my birthday five years ago. I’d lost three cats and a dog within twelve months, and my parents offered me a kitten…well, I got two!
Margaret – My favourite gift ever was my Rosemary doll. I was four or five, and had been drooling over this flaxen-haired, almost life-size baby doll in the window of the local toyshop every time we went to town. I never thought she would be mine. But, on Christmas morning, there she was, in a pretty box, complete with a layette of knitted baby clothes my mother had made specially. There was a note to say my name is Rosemary. When I picked her up, she knew me at once – she said Mama! Magic…
Chris – I have a roof over my head and go to sleep each night safe, warm, well-fed and with the one I love beside me. What else could I ask for?
Linda – It has to be the bottle of Avon perfume, ‘Here’s my Heart’, that came from my aunt Joan in Canada. Every year of my childhood, she sent Christmas presents for my brother and me. Instead of wrapping the parcel in the usual brown paper my aunt used to wrap it with thick cotton – a sort of sail cloth, I think – stitched up with waxed cotton. My mother used to unpick the waxed cotton stitch by stitch and wind it around an old cotton reel for re-use – green before her time, my mother! But oh, the agony of waiting to actually open the parcel! Well, the year I was eleven my present was that perfume – I don’t think Avon had hit the British Isles at that time – certainly it hadn’t hit my Cornish unit council flat! It came in a saddle-shaped bottle – sheer sophistication, I thought. And it was a defining moment. I was going to become a woman who used perfume. I’d like to say I kept the bottle but I didn’t. But to this day I never leave the house without a dab of perfume. Thank you, Auntie!
Christina – A dog – the oldest of my three was a Christmas present. Saying he was my present is cheating really as he was supposed to be for my children, but we all know parents buy pets for themselves as we’re the ones who end up looking after them. And he and I bonded completely when I held him in my arms on the way home from the place we bought him, aged just nine weeks. He was and still is adorable!
Jane – I am a nightmare to buy for (being of expensive and exclusive tastes), but the best present ever was a leather headcollar for my pony, when I was about fourteen. It was received from my extremely un-horsy parents, but was the right size and very glamorous (unlike my pony, who was too small and hideous). And I loved it! It showed that they considered my horse-obsession to be something worth indulging – and it stopped me having to lead him around with a bit of rope around his neck. Perhaps they were just tired of me being mistaken for a gipsy.
Liz – My sister, Diana. She was born three days before Christmas, the year after I was born. On that day, I was given a best friend for life.
Henriette – Years ago a school friend was crocheting a set of twelve cotton table napkins, in a simple square pattern and with a scalloped edge. Impressed, I commented on them, and she said they were for her grandmother. Imagine my surprise when I opened my present from her … To this day I still have those napkins, and I truly treasure them.
What is your favourite gift ever and why? The best comment wins a copy of Margaret James’s The Golden Chain, a perfect gift if ever there was!
And please come back tomorrow when we discuss that all important Christmas topic – food!