Two Favorite Gifts at Christmas

Well, Let Me Qualify That

By Jeff Salter

Topic: What are the two best Christmas presents you ever received?

Gosh, folks, I’ve strained my brain on this topic. For one thing, we’ve covered this general territory (here at 4F1H) in previous years – 2012 & 2013 & possibly others – so I shouldn’t repeat the content of those blogs, about CHILDHOOD Christmases. [But I’ve linked them below so you can read them if you wish.]

The upshot is: for THIS blog, I’ll try to focus on favorite gifts I’ve received as a GROWNUP.
Though it’s not a conventional gift, certainly the most important and valuable gift I’ve ever received at Christmas time is the birth of our second child, a daughter, on Dec. 23 (1975).
But on to more conventional matters…

Favorite Gifts I’ve Received as a Grownup

Remembering gifts from this era is harder than I imagined it would be. The two which finally came to mind were items I really wanted at the time, but would not have “splurged” to buy them for myself: a warm, down-filled vest (early 80s) and a Ping golf club (1990s).

That said – and apologizing in advance if this offends anyone – these days, I’d just as soon have a gift card to an outlet (like Amazon) that features a wide range of products. It’s fun (to me) to shop for items I’d really like (or really need) without having to cringe at the price tag. [You know, spending other people’s money!]

Printing Press

Although this gift was NOT from my grownup years – I had only turned 15 about two weeks before this Christmas (1965) – one of my memorable gifts (after my early childhood) was a little printing press. It had a roller, ink pad, ink, a very small “type bed” with the necessary shims, and a tray with a “starter” assortment of letters and numbers. At this rather primitive level, there were no lower case letters, and not enough upper case letters to “print” anything of normal length. I fashioned a few cards and tiny handbills… and basically played around with it. During the course of that experience I learned where the letters were stored in a typical printers tray [and it’s NOT anything like the placement on a typewriter!]. [[Of course, nobody sets type by hand anymore, anyway.]] I’ve long since forgotten that placement grid, of course… and I gave away that little press before I relocated to Kentucky in mid-2006. But as a teen, it brought me many hours of imaginative engagement.


With the qualification that my memory (at age 72) just ain’t what it used to be, I think it’s telling that Christmas gifts I’ve received as a grownup have not loomed large in my recollections. That’s not to say I didn’t greatly appreciate them at the time I received them. No doubt, many were exactly what I wanted or had requested. But in the din of seven decades of holidays… I just can’t remember any others right this moment. I’m sure many were snacks of various description, likely including M&M peanuts.


What about YOU? Are there any special Christmas gifts that really stick out in your mind? From your childhood… or from the years since?

Previous blogs related to this topic

Favorite gifts: [includes metal fire truck / toy horse / basketball]

Weirdest gifts: [includes the electric popcorn popper I received when I was in kindergarten!]

[JLS # 620]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
This entry was posted in childhood, Christmas, favorites, gifts, Holiday, Jeff Salter and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Two Favorite Gifts at Christmas

  1. Your printing press gift reminded me of a few other gift that kept me busy when I was younger: an Easy Bake Oven, a little musical keyboard, and a toy sewing machine. I wonder if my parents knew something back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Sounds like they either (A) recognized some of your early inclinations, of (B) hoped you’d like those items enough to interact… or BOTH.
      And it appears they were correct!


  2. jbrayweber says:

    A printing press…what a very cool gift.
    Like you, I don’t remember all the gifts I have received, but they were most definitely always appreciated. The one gift that immediately comes to mind was from my childhood—my very own brand-new saddle. Though I haven’t owned a horse in years, I still have the saddle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      As a youngster — who grew up watching westerns on TV and the Silver Screen — I was totally stunned when I spotted a full western-style saddle in a local feed and seed store one time. The price tag absolutely floored me. When I inquired (likely to my parents), I was told that sometimes the saddle costs more than the horse.


      • jbrayweber says:

        That might have been the case for my saddle. Not sure. The horse was only $300. Best money ever spent on me. My parents would agree. Countless hours of pure happiness with that animal. The saddle, though, I didn’t use it as much because I preferred to ride bareback. It was still a very good investment because we simply did not have one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff Salter says:

          What was your horse’s name?
          the bond between a “loved-and-cared-for” horse and its owner can be as precious as that with a dog or cat. Sadly, there are many neglected animals — of all sizes and types — that suffer.


  3. I would have LOVED to have gotten a printing press! That sounds so cool.
    Yes, we covered presents before. I am struggling with this stupid oral surgery
    business, but have something ready for tomorrow. (I will be getting the new schedule to everyone soon.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There have been so many precious gifts I’ve received at Christmas that it’s hard to narrow down, but I’d have to say a note from my daughter (and son-in-law at that time) addressed to “Grandma” to tell me the happy news. The grandchildren wound up calling me Nana (for most of them) afterward, but it was an exciting gift for me. Not my first grandchild, but my first from my daughter. It was special.

    A second best gift received at Christmas was from my granddaughter, whose arrival was being proclaimed in the paragraph above. That gift was my sweet dog Chip. A neighbor of my daughter had a dog who had puppies in the fall. I saw them through the chain-link fence while visiting my daughter when the pups were about a month old. One in particular was the cutest thing. He looked like a chocolate chip cookie adn he wiggled and wiggled and tried so hard to get our attention amongst his siblings. I told my granddaughter if he were mine, I’d name him Chip. And that’s how I wound up on Christmas morning with a wiggly puppy named Chip, dressed in a big red bow, almost as big as him. LOL He was one of the best dogs ever.

    Liked by 1 person

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