Christmas gifts under the tree by ahenobarbus via Flickr (cropped)
Occasions & Gifting

Ask Everyone: What Was Your Best Ever Christmas Gift?

Christmas gifts under the tree by ahenobarbus via Flickr (cropped)

 Ask Everyone is our office Q&A, where we put a question to the staff at Red Letter Days and post their responses. Got a question you want us to ask? Get in touch!

It will come as no surprise that as an experience company, the subject of gift giving tends to crop up quite a lot in our office (funnily enough, we’ve got a particular soft spot for the ones that come in envelopes).

However, of all the presents you receive throughout the year, it’s the ones you get at Christmas that you often remember years later.

To test this theory, this month’s question put to the team was: “What was your best ever Christmas present, and what made it so good?”

And as we found out, the most memorable presents aren’t always the biggest boxes under the tree…

  • Atari Lynx or Sega Megadrive

Atari Lynx console

“Either an Atari Lynx or a Sega Megadrive. I was lucky enough to get every Xmas present I ever wished for except for a Mr Frosty, as my mother thought it would give me colds (still hurts).”

– Rav, Senior Corporate Manager

  • Flight to Hong Kong

Kate in Hong Kong

“My mum treated me to a flight to Hong Kong. My sister has lived out there for three years, we are very close and I hadn’t seen her in ages so missed her awfully. My mum surprised me with a ticket for Christmas (and one for herself!) and we flew out earlier this year – one of the best holidays of my life and brilliant to see my sister!”

– Kate Bevan, Product Manager

  • Calculator Ruler with Spirit Level

“Mine was a calculator ruler my Dad bought for me when I was about 12. It had a spirit level on one side, a calculator on the other and a ruler on both sides. I almost cried at the time, it was the most awful thing an almost teenage girl could have got (all I wanted was make-up and a Britney styled wardrobe!). Although I was completely mortified and stroppy, it was my favourite ever Christmas present because it was a present my dad had picked out without any help from my mum…to his detriment! Secondly, it’s one of the only presents I can really remember getting and I get to have a laugh about it with my poor Dad. Lastly it led to him paying attention to my interests and actually trying to pick a Christmas present that I would really appreciate (he cheats and asks me or my brothers what I’d like, but it’s an improvement!).”

– Eve Alexander, Call Centre Executive

  • Amstrad Computer

Amstrad computer

“I was five years old and didn’t even know what a computer was. It was actually more of a present for my older sisters, but since it turned out playing ‘Jet Set Willy’ wasn’t really their thing, I started experimenting with the in-built programming language. Within a few years I was writing some simple games and applications which pretty much set me up for my career. As you can imagine, I was very popular at school.”

– Ed Carter, Lead Developer Manager

  • Tonka Toy Car Transporter

Yellow Tonka truck with red ribbon

“This has to be when I was seven or eight and I got a huge yellow car transporter – a Tonka toy. It’s strange, I didn’t get any toy cars to put in it, but it has remained a very strong memory for me. I believe that this was because the present was huge, wrapped up with my name on it and left under the tree for two weeks before Christmas. It was about the expectations and anticipation that made the gift remain with me all these years.”

– Bill Alexander, CEO

  • Snooker Table

snooker table

“My favourite present was a 6ft snooker table which I got when I was about five. I’d asked for it (from Santa) but when I went downstairs on Christmas morning I thought he hadn’t brought it, so I started to cry, ignoring all my other presents. My mam and dad then had to point out to me that the dining room table was missing and there a the snooker table there in its place. I kept it for years and loved it – I used to wear a vest over my shirt (I didn’t have a waistcoat) and pretend I was Jimmy White.”

– Steve Walls, Product Manager

  • The Chambers Dictionary

“I do have a favourite Christmas gift of all time but it’s a bit sad – it’s the Chambers Dictionary that John (my husband) bought me in 1989! Used constantly since then, it’s a bit battered and technically out of date (I think there have been several new editions since mine was published) but it’s never let me down on a crossword clue yet!”

– Anne Guerin, Head of HR

“My sister and I were obsessed with Barbie dolls as kids, so the ultimate Christmas present was our Barbie mansion. We nagged our parents for months and we were fortunate enough to receive it for Christmas in 1990. It was officially called Barbie’s Magical Mansion and I’d have to say that it was pretty magical indeed.”

– Courtney Glymph, Marketing PR

  • Helicopter Flight

“My family gave me a flight in a helicopter whilst a Spitfire and Hurricane did an aerial display around me, getting within just a couple of metres at times (as per the photo). It was a real once in a lifetime experience with a legendary, multi-million pound WWII aircraft, whose distinct Merlin engine sound you’ll never forget. Plus the added bonus of having a live intercom to the pilots who perform whatever manoeuvre you want on demand – loop the loop, Cuban 8s’ etc.”

Andy Ling, Product Manager

Now you’ve heard what our team had to say, tell us – what was your best ever Christmas present?

Images creative commons via Flickr / Wiki commons: moparxBill Bertram, Crazy for BarbieDavid MastersHoria Varlan

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