I'd have to say the best present I received this season was broadband. It was installed the day before Christmas. It just finally became available for me after I moved into this house about a year ago. Yay for broadband.
We bought my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law plane tickets to come out and visit. Being able to spend time with them and watch them play with my 21-month old son is worth more than any gift I got.
This year for the first time I got to stay home ALL DAY
and enjoy Christmas with my immediate family. I've
wanted that for fifteen years, but we always had to go
up to Akron (a four-hour round trip) to have Christmas
with some of my extended family. This year we got out
of it somehow, and nothing else I could have received
would top that. Not that I dislike my extended family
or anything, but on Christmas I wanted to be with *MY*
family (i.e., my immediate family). We're going up to
Akron on January 1st instead, which is a vastly
preferable arrangmenet as far as I'm concerned.
Oh, and this wasn't a Christmas gift per se (more
related to the new year if anything), but my
boss managed to get the board to approve a week of
paid time off this coming year for part time
employees such as myself. (It's a week based on
the number of hours we work per week, so if I work
25 hours/week all year, I get 25 hours of paid time
off sometime.) In addition to a raise. That I must
say is a pretty good deal too, and more than I
expected, especially with the ecconomy like it is and
a lot of people happy just to have a job at all.
Lesse... my sister made me a quilt; that I'm sure
was a lot of work, and it's very nice-looking to boot,
so that's a pretty good one. My other sister managed
to get a really incredible deal (I didn't get a number,
but it had to be like $2 or so based on what she did
say) on one of those nice glass chess sets, and got
me that in addition to the "real" gift; I like the
chess set at least as well as the "real" gift,
personally. Being a cheapskate, I've always made do
with cheapo $1 plastic sets with cardboard boards,
but now I don't have to.
How can you list 'expensive' without also listing 'cheap'? Anyhow, the gifts were so not what I was wanting this year. I just wanted to spend a great day with close family and that is what I got. My present this year were a couple packs of lottery tickets. Won absolutely nothing :P
I'm not sure which was better, the West Wing (season 2, part I) DVD set, or the Two Towers (Extended Edition) DVD set. Either way, I think it qualifies as "High Tech".
Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).
I got a big stack of DVDs, but the best by far was The Ben Stiller Show. There's a decent description here, but if you didn't see the show first-run (and according to the Neilsen ratings, no one did), do yourself a favor and rent the DVD. It's no coincidence that everyone involved went on to much bigger things.
"What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."
I could have chosen several:
family/friends because last year I was just finishing up a 6 month contract in Florida, away from my family.
New Job: I lost a job and found a new one in time to have christmas.
Time off: because I found a permanent position (boy don't those words ring false now!) I have paid days off!