What the Holiday?

Imagine a huge box wrapped in colorful paper with your name on it. When you shake it, you can hear the clinking of the items inside. The suspense before opening the gift builds, and you cannot wait to rip the paper off of the present. But what could it be: that new shirt from the mall, the new iPhone? You rip off the paper. You eagerly peer inside, hoping that a present from your list will be waiting for you.

Unfortunately, it’s light bulbs. Yes, light bulbs were gifted during one of my family’s holiday gatherings by my grandmother, giving the gift exchange an unexpected twist.

Sometimes you open a gift only to be disappointed or shocked by its oddity. We have all received these unusual presents during the holiday season that go against our expectations, causing us to fake a smile and forcefully thank the gift-giver for their thought. As the holidays are fast-approaching, Dunbar students might be reflecting on the abnormal presents they have received in the past, hoping for more typical gifts this year. Senior Ashley Hardee is one of many affected by unique holiday gifts.

“One year, we found this ‘squirrel café’ in a magazine and my grandpa built us one during the holidays,” said Hardee. “It was two little chairs with a corn of cob in the middle that you set outside for squirrels to eat. It was hilarious.”

Some gifts are simply not age appropriate.

“My sister gave me a Dora the Explorer puppet one year,” said freshman Megan Pyle. “I was 10.”

Like Megan, I have experienced under-aged gift giving. When I was 13, my aunt and uncle gave me a children’s book. I faked a smile and thanked my family for the present. Despite being initially uncomfortable, it was hilarious nonetheless.

Gift-givers who are interested in giving an odd present, but do not know where to start, should use online resources. With the holidays quickly approaching, websites like Mandatory and Refinery 29 are producing weird gift guides for family members and friends.

Despite their unique qualities, quirky gifts may be more personal than typical items. Many of us may want to give an odd gift to one of our close friends or family members. For example, Hardee decided to give a unique holiday gift after receiving one of her own.

“Our friends at church loved the gift, so we built about 15 squirrel cafés for them during the holidays,” said Hardee.

Throughout the season, remember that these odd holiday presents are what make your experience unique. Years from now, you may not remember the time that you were given a t-shirt or opened up a PlayStation game, but you may be telling your children the story of how your grandma gave your aunt a set of light bulbs during the holidays.