We moved a lot, and lived on a low income, yet my parents always made sure our Christmases were special. They did this by creating family traditions, such as “one Christmas present can be opened on Christmas Eve” (usually pajamas to wear that night) or by giving a repeated gift every year (for me, it was a horse ornament and, in middle school, a fancy dress). What I especially remember, though, were my mom’s efforts to create a warm and fun holiday environment. One year, we didn’t have a fireplace for Santa to come down the chimney, so my mom made one from construction paper. Of course, Santa came, and there was a plate of cookies and a glass of milk waiting for him (or her!).
– Jessica Kai Curry
I bought a Surface Pen as a holiday gift for my stepdaughter’s Surface Pro 4. She received this refurbished laptop/tablet as a gift last year, but it came without a stylus. She also loves to draw. She’s a self-taught artist who prefers analog drawing, but has expressed interest in learning how to draw digitally. We’re hoping this pen will inspire her to take her artistic talents to new heights!
– Vivian Nguyen
Freedom was the best gift I’ve ever received. My sister Rander gave me freedom when she gifted me her old car, a 1973 VW Type 3 Fastback. I was a high school junior, living with my family in Putney, Vt., 10 miles from the school. Public transit was not an option in that era or area. When I held the key to freedom, the one with the black, rubber VW insignia, I knew my days of riding the school bus, asking my father to borrow his Chevy Impala, and telling my friends “I don’t have a ride” were over. I drove that car up and down the East Coast, throughout college, and in and out of marriage. I drove it until it rusted out. When I rolled it into the dealership for a trade-in, I cried so hard the salesman gave me $300. I loved that car.
– Becky Chan
Over the last couple of years, I have been sending my youngest daughter to a magical summer camp at PlayGarden in South Seattle. My daughter has developmental disabilities, including major speech and motor delays, and so it was difficult to find a program in the area that would allow her to play with normal developing peers in a hands-on and fully supervised environment. She loves it so much that we are going to send our older daughter there next year as well. To show our support, I am giving some of these bags away as holiday presents. They are part of PlayGarden’s 2018 Holiday Fundraiser and are $25 each (or $20 each if three or more are purchased). All proceeds go towards supporting this true gem in our community. Their motto is “A Garden for Everyone” and, indeed, they truly mean it!
– Yoon S. Park
I happened to be grocery shopping at Uwajimaya recently and came across a Totoro lamp. I immediately thought of my daughter. Though she’s 26, she will always be a kid at heart, and has always been into anime. Totoro is one of her all-time favorite characters. The lamp lights up two ways — it glows from the belly or the leaf above its head.
– Ruth Bayang
My wife, Tracy, loves to cook so I got her a KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-qt Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer. Tracy told me this wonderful contraption and its many attachments will save her lots of time preparing food. She picked the gift while we were shopping at Costco during Black Friday. No point in waiting for Christmas when Tracy can start making delicious food now!
– John Liu