Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Gifts - good, bad & ugly

Posted December 23, 2010

What is the funniest Christmas gift you have ever received? What about the worst Christmas gift or most unusual? And the best? Please share your stories.

The year I gave my wife Cindy a sparkling new set of pots and pans as her BIG present was the year I grew as a husband. As co-anchor Renee Chou stated this morning during a commercial break women don't want practical gifts for Christmas. Since that social blunder many years ago I always try to come up with at least one romantic gift for Christmas.

Last year I got a call from a guy near Columbia, SC. He said all his wife wanted for Christmas was a signed set of my CD and book collection. It was a last minute request and he drove all the way up from Columbia to Raleigh to secure the purchase. I was both honored and impressed. I have several people coming by the station on Christmas Eve tomorrow to pick up my music/book package.

My worst gift was a toy, Robert the Robot, in the second grade when I really wanted a bicycle. The funniest gift was a wooden woodpecker. It came the year I battled a woodpecker bent on building a nest in the cedar siding of my first house in Cary. The next year I gave it back to my brother-in-law.  The best gift was the birth of my son William just a few days after Christmas in 1988.

How about you? Please share your stories.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • svaughan Dec 30, 2010

    My best Christmas was one I ditn't get. Let me explain. When I was about 14 my daddy was very sick but he got a job a few weeks beore Christmas. He told me he was getting me a great gift for Christmas. He gave me lots of hints and I was so excited. He was going to get it with his last pay check just before Christmas. Well, he became ill and had to quit the job so I didn't get the present (a popcorn popper) but the love behind the thought was a precious gift I will always remember. He's been in heaven for over fifty years but I still think of "the gift I didn't get". It was wonderful!

  • baileycoup Dec 26, 2010

    My brother always enjoyed giving gag gifts at Christmas. Each year only one person was the recipient. A young child or a new boyfriend or girlfriend of someone in the family (my husband received a "gift" 25+ years ago). We lost my brother to cancer in 2009. No one remembers the normal gifts they received but we all remember his "gag" gifts given with love and speak of them often. Those memories are priceless!

  • wolfmom402 Dec 25, 2010

    One of my best Christmas presents ever...I got married yesterday after being engaged for 8 years with our sons as our witnesses...what a wonderful way to unite two families!

  • alanrmnc Dec 24, 2010

    Best gift I ever got for Christmas came on December 30th, 1973. That was the day I got married and this December 30th we will celebrate 37 years. We have two terrific kids and a very special daughter-in-law. My wife is the greatest. Worst gift was the year I caught Mono and wound up in the hospital.

  • bullethole357 Dec 24, 2010

    Two worst from a Great Aunt. Pink and yellow socks that were irregulars. A ten year old People of the Year with Oprah on the front. Told me she knew how much I liked to read. Bless her heart!

  • WildBullMoose Dec 23, 2010

    Electric corn cob. Practical in no respect, but seriously funny. Corn cob (no kernels) with electric cord drilled and glued into one end.

  • dharper22 Dec 23, 2010

    Growing up in the depths of the Great Depression, Bill, I remember two gifts. One year it was a dime store fountain pen...the kind you lift the pocket clip to compress the bladder so it will suck in ink. The other was perhaps my best as a boy. My grandfather built a pinball machine. We'd pull the bolt on the right side, sending a ball bearing up and around to see if we could get it into the hole we wanted for high score.
    Many happy hours playing on that home-made toy.

  • Killian Dec 23, 2010

    Well, I've had some really great ones and some really, uh, interesting ones (a family joke was to wonder who would get the "Aunt Helen" gift every year!), but there was one that caused a huge, huge misunderstanding...

    When I was a kid, I had an aunt that I really didn't like much, and really, she never liked me either. But she got me a xmas gift out of obligation, and I always thanked her politely. Her usual "oh crud, I have to get my niece a gift" answer was a jewelry box. It was cheap, impersonal, and I probably got 4 or 5 from her over the years.

    Fast forward several years, and I'm now married. My husband, thinking he was being sweet and intimate, bought me a beautiful jewelry box for my stuff. He was so, so hurt by my reaction, and I was so hurt that he would get me something so impersonal. We were both angry and disappointed until we finally talked it out and realized the other person's point of view!

    I still have that jewelry box, though, after 19 years!

  • cmk617 Dec 23, 2010

    I was seven years old and shared a bedroom with my older sister who was 13 at the time. I was dreaming of a canopy bed from the Sears catalog and asked Santa for this one special thing. On Christmas Eve, my parents tucked all three of us kids into their bed giving an excuse that I can't remember...and in the wee hours of the morning I awoke to find my mom and dad sound asleep in my sister's and my bedroom in a canopy bed! I'm sure they were exhausted from setting it up overnight. I remember this like it was yesterday, not 30+ years ago.

  • deborahkirklandhunter Dec 23, 2010

    Christmas is always bittersweet for me since my mom died 15 years ago. Her birthday is December 26th. I always baked her a cake and the year she died, my kids told me that I still had to bake a cake for her even though she is in heaven. So I will again this year and try to enjoy the good memories.




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie