Sometimes you get exactly what you want for Christmas. Sometimes you get socks.
The entire gift-giving process can be nervewracking right from shopping for that "perfect" present to noticing that look of poorly-masked diappointment when your loved one tears off the wrapping paper to reveal a Snuggie.
We've all been on both sides of the bad gift spectrum whether your feigning delight ("it's just what I wanted") or having those five words thrown in your direction. FYI, if that phrase is uttered, it's distinctly NOT just what they wanted.
But sometimes you do, in fact, get just what you wanted. In that case, you don't have to fake happiness because the feeling is genuine. Maybe you didn't find a Lexus wrapped in a bow parked in the driveway, but perhaps the gift-giver still managed to knock it out of the park.
What follows are some examples of both instances, when certain Holliston residents received great gifts and other times when they did not. A couple of tips gleaned from our research: 1) Do NOT give vacuum cleaners as gifts, especially to your wife; 2) socks and pajamas are generally a bad idea; 3) Money, while neither inventive nor original, is still an effective gift; 4) not suprisingly, high school boys like video games and dislike school supplies; 5) smart husbands will never go on record insulting a gift from their wives while 6) wives don't seem to mind doing exactly that.
1. Acting Holliston Police Chief Keith Edison — "I've never received a gift I didn't like. My favorite gift was a set of golf clubs, but they were for my birthday. My wife (Dancing Arts Center director Karyn Edison) gives me such wonderful gifts, I don't have a favorite. I don't have any Lexus in the driveway stories."
Edison went on to contest the believability of those commercials. As do we, Chief.
2. Holliston Fire Chief Mike Cassidy — "The best gift I ever got was a class trip to London and Paris my senior year of high school. The worst I ever got was a lump of coal in my stocking."
3. Holliston High School junior Ellen Howes, who, in years past, has starred in the Dancing Arts Center's performance of "The Nutcracker" — "I got a Nutcracker toy one year. I think my least favorite gift ar T-shirts."
4. Coffee Haven employee Gwen — "I'm boring, I like money. My least favorite gift is pajamas."
5. Pam Farrell, Coffee Haven owner — "My favorite gift is books. My least favorite gift was a vacuum cleaner."
For shoppers this year, the avid reader suggested David Sedaris' new book of fiction "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary," and the final installment of the The Millenium Trilogy, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest."
6. John Paltraneri, owner of Fiske's General Store owner — "My son coming home for the holidays is the best gift I could get. My least favorite isn't a gift, it's just the fast-paced holiday rush. I wish everyone would just relax."
Then we would advise you to stay away from the Natick Collection, sir.
7. Chris Leoncini, Superette owner — "My least favorite part of the holidays is people who are alone. Oh, and the clean-up. My favorite part is seeing all the people. The ones you don't always see; and the kids coming home. My least favorite gift? I don't know."
"Besides the in-laws?" asked his coworker Joan.
"Time off would be my best gift right now," Leoncini concluded.
8. Becky Linnell, school teacher and Casey's Crossing patron — "I hate getting teacher mugs and candles. All the stuff that says 'teacher' on it. I like getting luxury items like fancy soap and fancy earrings, personal things. Once my husband gave me a skateboard for Christmas. That was a terrible idea."
9. Kate LaMontagne, Kamala Boutique owner — "I don't like getting personal appliances. My favorite gifts are things totally out of the box, toys for my motorcycle."
"Chrome is good" said a customer.
LaMontagne echoed "Yes, chrome is good."