Like almost every other sentient being, CB&A folks love the holidays. So we’ve decided to reveal some of our favorite seasonal activities and memories of celebrations past. Tune in to this frequency on the blogging airwaves over the next two weeks to learn (among other things) the truth about Santa, and what elves do on their days off! Well, maybe not anything that sensational, but we’ll try to entertain you with a little peek behind the scenes nonetheless…
1. What is the best gift you have ever received?
Charlene Blohm: A multi-day rental of the first five Planet of the Apes movies, along with plenty of microwave popcorn. It was sheer couch-potato bliss to watch the movies back-to-back on a chilly holiday weekend while chasing away the homesick blues.
Andria Casey: One year my siblings and I received a surprise family trip to go skiing in Colorado. My parents managed to keep it a secret until Christmas Day, even though we had to be packed to leave the next day!
Emily Embury: My dog Barley, a soft-coated wheaten terrier, was an early Christmas present four years ago. He’s been a loved member of our family ever since!
Saul Hafenbredl: I once received a season pass for a golf course near my house. It was tough waiting four months before I could use it, but I was the first one on the course in the spring and the last one to leave in the fall.
Martha Jacobs: The best gift I’ve ever received was my very first cell phone back in 8th grade. Yes, it was the original Nokia that everyone had. That thing could have been run over by a car and wouldn’t have broken – I miss it!
Paul Mamelka: A world globe from my parents when I was 9 years old; for the first time I was able to figure out where my European relatives lived. Been interested in history and politics every since.
Kristen Plemon: I love music and singing, so when I was eight, Santa (a.k.a my wonderful parents) gave me my first tape player/recorder with microphone. I took it everywhere, singing and dancing along to my favorite songs all around the house. Unfortunately, there may be video evidence…
Chris Swietlik: As a kid I always loved getting Legos. It was the one gift I always knew what it was when I shook it!
Katie Waite: The best Christmas gift I ever received was actually last Christmas, when my parents bought me Green Bay Packers stock. Although having stock in the Packers may not provide me with much “monetary” value, it means a lot to know I have a stake in a team that has such a rich history and tradition in Wisconsin. I plan to keep the stock in the family by passing it onto future generations, so it will be the gift that keeps on giving!
Adam Wise: I can’t remember the exact year, but one of my favorite toys when I was a child was this mini racecar track I received from Santa. Now if only I could’ve figured out how to keep those suckers from crashing into one another…
2. What has been you’re best gift giving experience?
Charlene: One year I gave several of our nephews their first Leatherman tools, those all-in-one wonders that come in super handy. It was fun to watch them find things to fix, tighten and open over the next couple of days!
Andria: Some of my best gift giving experiences are the homemade gifts I give to my grandma. She always understands and appreciates the extra thought that goes into those types of gifts.
Emily: Growing up, my sister and I would forgo a present and donate to a family in need from our local community. Looking back these are some of my fondest holiday memories.
Saul: A few years ago, we gave my grandma a memory box containing hand-written notes with our favorite shared memories.
Martha: This year I donated to Saint Jude’s. The money was for sick children to receive gifts this holiday season. As a result of my donation, Saint Jude’s donated money to a friend of mine who is very sick with cancer. She has volunteered with the children for a while now and it was their way of giving back to her. The experience really reminded me of what the holiday season is about.
Paul: Helping my dad every Christmas when we’d wrap up Christmas parcels to send to his family in Poland; mostly food, clothing and things that were scarce while the country was still under communist rule.
Kristen: I really enjoy picking out gifts, making gifts, wrapping gifts, watching people’s faces light up when they open the gifts – everything about the gift-giving experience. Recently, I scanned my children’s favorite artwork they created, scanned them into digital images, had them come up with “titles” for their pieces, and compiled a photo book of their creations for their grandparents. My kids were so proud and excited to give these gifts, they literally danced around in anticipation as they waited for their grandparents to open them.
Chris: My sister and I chipped in to buy our parents a digital camera one year. They were really surprised because I don’t think they had expected us to buy them such an expensive gift.
Katie: The best gift giving experiences seem to happen every year, when I watch my little cousins open their Christmas presents. They always get so excited to receive whatever toy or game we are giving them that year. I love seeing their faces light up with joy after they excitedly rip off the wrapping paper. To me, Christmas is all about the gift giving experience, and children make that all the better.
Adam: Hopefully it will be this year when my family unveils our gift to my parents on Christmas Eve, which of course, I can’t give away here!
Come back Friday for part two where we’ll discuss more great gifts and festive foods!