Gifts: Wonderful, Weird and Wacky

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What is the best Christmas gift you have ever received? What is the worst? What is the most unusual? What is the most creative? I will get things started by talking about my favorite Christmas present as a child. My father transformed the basement of our Morganton home into a model train wonderland complete with trestles, tracks and trees my dad made by hand. That was a most magical Christmas. The worst gift came the year I really had my heart set on a new bicycle. Christmas morning, however, revealed a toy my parents were convinced I would embrace. But Robert the Robot, pictured here, and I never hit it off. I grew to despise that toy. In no time it was gathering dust in the attic. Fast forward to adulthood. My favorite gift was my son Will who was born just after Christmas 18 years ago. He has been the kind of gift that keeps on giving. Will, I am awfully proud of you as you finish up high school and prepare for college. I am going to miss you very much. The worst gift I gave as an adult was the package of pots and pans for my wife one Christmas. I still get heat for that one. Relatives once responded to my plight of woodpeckers knocking holes in the side of a cedar shingled house by giving me a wooden woodpecker for Christmas. I wrapped it up and gave it back to them the next year. They are the same relatives who framed a photograph of the beaver I struck and killed while driving to work one morning at WRAL. What about you? What are your most memorable gifts?