Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Best. Present. Ever.

Hello globe.

It's Christmas Eve and I'm really excited to give out the presents I made with my girlfriend, Jackie. We made chocolate covered pretzels out of chocolate chips and pretzel rods. I don't know if it's maturity or a sense of the "true meaning of Christmas," but I really don't care about getting presents this year. I'll gladly accept anything given to me of course, but as far as I'm concerned, once I give out my gifts, the transaction is complete, I'm happy, and anything else is an added bonus.

But in realizing this evolution from receiver to giver, I can't help but think back and dwell on the best gift I ever got as a kid. It wasn't so much the present as much as it was the way it was given that impacted me.

Real quick, for those of you who don't know me well, I've had an affinity for video games since I was 5 years old.

It was Christmas morning back in third grade or around about, and I was in Chicago spending the holidays with Grammy and Grampy and my uncle Aaron. I remember it being really cold inside because they didn't have central heating, but once the presents rolled out all of my senses were transfixed on the goods.

At one point I had opened all of the presents that were out. I remember being grateful, but disappointed that I didn't get a Super Nintendo, which had just been released. I wasn't acting like a spoiled brat or anything, I was respectful and genuinely happy about what I got, but the SNES was at the top of my list.

So Uncle Aaron comes out from his room with a present for me, saying he left it in his room.
I open it and I'm instantly deflated. Super Mario Kart. For the SNES. Not only did I not get the one thing I wanted the most, but, I can't even use it! I don't need a gun rack, I don't even own a gun!

So I look up to say something like "awww, but I can't play this," and Grammy is looking back at me with raised eyebrows.

"Why not?"

"Because I don't have a Super Nintendo."

Out of nowhere Grampy has a huge box in his hands and he's walking towards me and Grammy yells, "well you do now!"

Everyone is screaming.

Everyone screams real loud.

I think I cried a little.

I've gotten video game systems for Christmas before and it's awesome. But it was the surprise that made this the best present I ever got as a boy. I couldn't articulate it at the time, but it's the idea that these people care about me enough to spring this awesome present on me out from nowhere, that they thought about doing this just for me, and that they were thinking about me when I wasn't around, that makes it all so magical.

So my question to the globe is: what is the best present you've given or received, and how was it given?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!


Jason Heat said...

That was a sweet story.

David Pratt said...

The best present I ever gave was a white gold and diamond tennis bracelet I bought for my girlfriend Claire. I spent the entire summer working to pay it off, but it was completely worth the look on her face when she opened it, and the way she treasured it from that point on.

As Jason will tell you, my actions are motivated almost entirely upon the reactions of others, and hers was the best I've ever gotten in the course of giving a gift.

I also got an NES from my Grandparents when I was 3 or so and that was totally kick ASS. It made me the man I am today.

Jason Heat said...

So now I know who to blame.


Max Nova said...

My best nondenominal holiday present was miles davis's complete bitches brew box set. I remember torturing my family with that for weeks. It remains some of my favorite music.

Daniel said...

The SNES was so sweet.

Sarah Pratt said...

I still have my SNES, and my children love it as much as i did (do).