What's on your holiday gift list?

Shoppers chime in with what they want to give — and receive

Ellen Warren

Answer Angel

November 30, 2012


Love and other intangibles seem to be on the minds of this year's holiday shoppers. While some named specific gifts on their list to make the season brighter for themselves and their loved ones, many spoke of things that money can't buy. Young and old respond to the Christmas dreams questions: What is your idea of the perfect gift to give? The perfect one to receive?


Coron Brinson, 33, union organizer

To give: "I'm dating this dude — Dustin's his name — and I'd love to make him happy by giving him a ring, an engagement ring. It's dreamland because financially I can't afford it right now."

To receive: "Something very practical. Something I can get usage out of the entire year. I hate Christmas gifts like a $25 gift card and then it's done. Give me something I can use!"

Hannah Ireland, 23, artist

To give: "I'm an artist so I usually make a lot of my gifts. I'm a printmaker so I usually give prints. I think about them for a long time. For instance, for my dad, we went on a hike in northern Michigan — probably a drawing from that experience."

To receive: "That's a really tough one. I like a gift that we can do together, like someone would give me concert tickets. I also like getting books. My dad is an English professor so he always picks out books I've never heard of, and I always look forward to those."

Jeannie Del Vecchio, 61, librarian

To give: "What I typically give is books because I'm a librarian — but all year, not just at Christmas. Christmas shopping means nothing to me. Whenever, whenever, whenever — that's when I give gifts."

To receive: "Vacation. A hiking vacation someplace. That would be ideal. Probably back to Haleakala Park on Maui. It's beautiful."

Jack Osborne, 93, retired from General Motors

To give: "Life's experience." To share what he's learned over his long life. "Life is full of shortcomings, but if you just wait, life will change and get better." His advice: "Drink the right kind of scotch. Eat the right kind of dark chocolate and keep away from women. That's w-i-m-m-e-n. But don't keep away from ladies!" (Turning toward his friend): "She's a lady."

To receive: "Time. When you get to 93, time is important." He wants his lady friend to make more time to spend with him. "I like to swim and play tennis and hike and cycle," and he'd like his busy friend to have the free time to do all those with him.

Jamie Tsai, 19, student

To give: "If I give someone a present — (I want it to be one) that every time he sees it he'll think of me."

To receive: What the gift is, is not important. The memory it invokes of the giver is what is important so that "every time I see it I will think of the person who gave it to me."

Carolyn Harper, 45, Salvation Army bell ringer

To give: "The perfect gift that I would give is an American Girl doll to a little girl who is really in need of a gift and I know she loves those American Girl dolls. She's 9 — a friend of my daughter, who is 10."

To receive: "I want a diamond ring. An engagement ring. I'm hoping! We've been together for four years." Attention, Dave: Hope you're reading this.