Memories of Gifts Past

For the twelve days of Christmas, I’ll post one list of 5 Christmas-related things each day, so there is no weekly list today. However – instead you get the 3rd list of 12 Days of Lists! Today: 5 of my favourite gifts past – either those I’ve received, or those I’ve given!

Now, of course Christmas is about so much more than just giving and receiving presents – but that doesn’t mean that those present aren’t still a great part of the season! Although I usually prefer the giving to the getting (quite frankly, I find it kind of awkward to have everybody waiting for your reaction, etc.) there are some gifts I loved receiving – and some gifts I loved giving so much, that they basically turned into gifts for me as well!

1. E-Reader
A couple of years ago, probably in my second or third year of college, I had a lot of set reading to get through – and when I say a lot, I mean a lot lot. This meant that I not only had to spent a lot of money on buying those books, I always had to carry them from my dorm to my home, from my class to my dorm, etc., and it was just generally very annoying. Luckily, that year, my parents gave me a Sony E-Reader. Now I know that E-Readers such as, for example, the Kindle, are capable of a lot more fancy stuff than my simple Sony can, but I literally just wanted it to read – and it’s perfect for that.
I saved so much money (and shoulder- and back aches!) thanks to that little thing, the battery can literally last weeks, and (very useful!) there’s so many free e-books that I now get to read, wherever, whenever – I just seriously loved this gift so much!

Photo Credit: balletnews.co.uk

2. The Nutcracker, Opéra Bastille
This is actually a gift I gave – me and my grandma both love ballet, and we’d been talking about how we had to go see one together, one day, for ages – probably for more than 10 years.
Last year, I spent a couple of weeks in Paris, and it got me to realise how close (absolutely relative, but, like, compared to any distance in the USA, basically) I actually live to that city – and what a great range of cultural performances you can go and see there.
So, as her Christmas gift, that year, I gave her a day in Paris – ballet performance included! I had to save for months and months to be able to afford it, but it was so absolutely worth every penny.
A couple of days before Christmas last year, we left early in the morning, spend the entire morning discovering some of the highlights of the city, and then went and saw The Nutcracker in the Opéra Bastille, performed by the National Ballet.
It was magical, and we had such an absolutely amazing day! In just a short couple of days, it’ll have been exactly a year we were there, and I just know I’m going to spend the day looking back on those amazing memories – and so will she, probably!

3. Books
Yes, I know, I already mentioned my E-Reader, and aren’t these just basically the same thing?
Well, maybe – but here’s the thing: every year I get at least some books, and as someone who loves to read beyond measure (see how I paraphrased HP there?) those books really just show me that people know about my interests, care about them, and want to give me something that is linked to them – and isn’t that just the best thing you could possibly ask for?

Photo Credit: ifreakinlovebooks on Tumblr

4. Going to England
This one wasn’t technically a “Christmas Present”, but for years, we would travel to England for a couple of days in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and some of my best Christmas-sy memories are definitely linked to these trips! I love England (the whole of the UK, actually) so much, and even more so during winter!
Also, once you’ve stood in a big shopping street in Hull, having spent the whole day enjoying the Christmas decorations and atmosphere, and you’re bundled in nicely and warm, and you’re watching the dancing scene from The Sound of Music on a huge screen – well, it’s rather hard not to feel immediately Christmas-sy when you think back to that!

5. Time
This probably sounds ridiculous, but so often, the best thing you can give anybody is your time.
The time off during Christmas break – even if, these years, that’s just on Christmas day itself because I’m so busy studying the rest of the time – is amazing to start with.
But, even as a gift, this can be great! So, many times, I’ll give somebody (usually along with something actually physical, because, you know, duh) a bunch of coupons for all kinds of stuff – for taking over all chores for one day, for cooking their favourite dish, for a date, for some time playing games together, … And seriously? People tend to love it – often it’s way easier to just go buy something for somebody, but giving them your time? That’s showing the Christmas Spirit: a time to share!

So there you have it, 5 of my all-time favourite gifts! What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten for Christmas? And what’s the most magical present you ever gave to anybody? Be sure to let me know below!
And be sure to check out yesterday’s post, as well as my other Christmas-posts!

-Saar