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.
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.
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".
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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!