The best and worst gifts of past holidays seasons

The holidays are always marked by gifts. While some are amazing and some are just plain weird, others can only be summed up in one word: interesting.

Two Christmases ago, senior French exchange student Emma Descamps opened her stocking to find round-trip tickets to Brazil. Decsamps was completely surprised –her former host sister lived in Brazil.

While a trip to Brazil is quite the gift, sophomore Gina Sakoda was even more astonished when her parents surprised her with a trip to the Olympics. Sakoda traveled to Europe last summer, stopping in France, and ended her trip with the Olympics, where she sang with the Carmel High chorus and saw the end of the women’s marathon.

With trips to London and Brazil, the holidays are times when parents can spoil their children. But some of the best gifts are the ones that are handmade or hands-on. Senior Brandon Satow’s best gift consisted of basic computer parts.

“My parents got me parts which enabled me to build my own functioning computer,” Satow explains. “It was really cool.”

Satow is a student in the AP Computer Science class, where he learns about programming and developing technology, and is able to use his computer skills outside of school.

Junior Melissa Schreckenberger was also able to improve her skills when her parents gifted a new keyboard, spurring a new musical interest. Schreckenberger started singing and is now part of the CHS chorus.

Junior Ryan Albert’s favorite gift has a wet nose, furry paws and a wagging tail, which woke Albert up on Christmas morning with a wet lick. Spike, as Albert named his puppy, is now his “wing man.”

A puppy may seem like the perfect gift for Christmas, but Carmel High librarian Elena Loomis had a Christmas gift that tops the charts when she gave birth to her daughter Elizabeth on Dec. 25, 31 years ago.

“It was definitely the best gift I could ever receive,” Loomis says.

Not all holiday gifts are memorable ones, though. Senior Mitchel Cuneo didn’t experience the thrill of the holidays when he received a grade-A flashlight from his uncle.

But flashlights are not the worst gifts given during the holidays. The typical coal in a bag for Christmas is what kids dread most, and junior Katherine Rice thought that was all she received last Christmas.

“My parents gave me coal as a joke,” Rice says. “At first I thought that was it, but later I found a brand-new surfboard in my room.”

With the giving season approaching, make sure to give memorable gifts instead of forgettable ones, and most importantly have an amazing holiday!

-Sasha Polovneff