With Christmas quickly approaching and last-minute shopping in full swing, the Empire took to the streets of downtown, as well as the Mendenhall and Nugget malls on Thursday to ask 12 different Juneauites, about the best gifts they’ve ever given or received around the holidays.
Here’s what they had to say.
Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Devita Vaughn: The best present I ever got was a bolt-action .22 when I was 18-years-old. It was like the thing I wanted so bad when I was younger and I finally got it and I didn’t shoot my eye out.
Frank Aldana: The best gift I ever received was the birth of my granddaughter, nothing better has ever come along since.
Mary DeSmet: My best gift to give is music and for 15 years running, my husband Greg and I would go to California and do a whole Christmas Day concert for my Godparent’s retirement community. After all of the family members had dispersed and left and it was sort of a downer day, we would share music and that has just been the highlight of all of my Christmases is giving back in that way and bringing joy through music.
Kurt Kuppert: The best present that I’ve ever given to someone would be this year to my son. He’s 14, me and my son are into shoes, and I got him a pair of Jordan 1 Chicagos. So, he’s going to dig those, he’s wanted them for like the last two years, like the sneaker market hit big and they got real expensive but they just released a different version of them like two months ago, so I was able to get him a pair.
Chelsea Corrao: The best gift I’ve ever given was to my nephews; we gave them laser tag and it’s kind of fun to watch them annoy their parents with it.
Sue Oliphant: This year I’ll be a great-grandmother, not until the summer, but that’s pretty special. Other than that, there’s been 80 Christmases, how am I going to pick just one? There was one time when we lived in Connecticut and the kids were little; we weren’t doing very well financially, we were building a house and it was the start of the ‘80s recession and our neighbors got food for us in the morning and just dropped it off. We never found out who did it, I suspect it was several, but that has always been one of the things I remember from Christmas that was pretty great.
Amanda Swanson: The best gift I was ever given was when my husband wrote me a song just for me and put it in a shadowbox and decorated it and that was the best gift I ever got.
Patsy Wright: I received a box of Godiva Chocolates in a very small box and inside there was a note from my daughter and son-in-law saying that I was going to get a grandchild. So, that was the best gift ever, and that was on Christmas, too. But I had told them that’s what I wanted on my 60th birthday and they finally came through.
Jessalyn Ward: The best gift I was ever given was a trip to Arizona to go see family, so it was an experience instead of an actual material gift.
William Andrews: I would say the best gift, it doesn’t come in the form of anything material, but I’d say forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others is a pretty powerful gift.
Tanya Roust: When I was a kid, my dad did a lot of wood work and tinkering and one year he made my sister and I like old-fashioned school desks for our dolls. Exceptionally special to us and we’re getting ready to pass them on to our kids now.
Molly Hightower: The stuff that my grandmother gave me, she’s since passed on, so those things are special, like little quilts that say “made by granny” on them.