Merry Giftsmas

What do Seahawks Consider a Worthy Holiday Present?

Josie Kim, Student

The imminence of December 25th ushers in a multitude of preparatory tasks like trimming trees and stringing lights, but all are trivial compared to the ultimate duty of gifting. The careful process of culmination and consideration amplifies the anticipatory nature of the holiday season until the climactic Christmas unveiling ensues. The Seabury community shares its approach to this procedure.

The first step to a Christmas gift is obtaining one, which is easier said than done. For some, gift-hunting poses an arduous task. “I love gifting. I don’t like shopping for them. That stresses me out. I want to try and get something special for whoever the recipient is, but that takes a lot of thought and then there’s the stress of getting it all done before Christmas,” says faculty member Laura Porter.

For others, finding a personalized gift is quite simple. Sixth grader Lydia Brewer recounts one of her success stories: “My sister . . . was admiring something that she really liked, and she showed it to my mom and we got it for her,” she says.

When the long-awaited day finally arrives, the opening of gifts gives rise to a flurry of emotions. Brewer describes the feeling of opening a gift: “I feel happy and sometimes surprised,” she says. She also notes that the action of giving is generally quite gratifying, saying, “It makes other people feel good when they give a present to me, and I like giving presents.”

Freshman Milton Osaki agrees. “It gives me excitement and happiness,” he says.

Porter expresses her excitement when she receives a gift. “[I feel] warm and fuzzy inside. So happy,” she says. To boost the impact of the feeling, she considers mystery essential: “I just think the element of surprise is the coolest thing.”

Within the packages and tissue-filled bags, gifts, both good and bad, are exchanged. Seventh grader Kostas Jackson recalls his last gift to his brother. “When we were, like, eight . . . we were way into Nerf. I gave him a Nerf gun and a whole vest, and he was really excited,” he says.

For Porter, the best gifts may not necessarily be material. “I think experiences are really good . . . Once, we took all the kids on a cruise over Christmas,” she says.

No matter how much troubleshooting takes place, some gifts just miss the mark. Senior Marraya Griggs recalls a middle school mishap. “I forgot about getting gifts, and . . . I cut out pieces of printer paper and made my own dolls . . . it was weird,” she says.

Osaki remembers a gift landing him a spot on Santa’s naughty list. “I gave them a rock. It was a joke, and they got really mad,” he says. 

Similar to gifts given, receiving a great one is memorable, but getting a bad one is unforgettable. Jackson reminisces about one of his favorites: “When I was, like, six, I got a Wii, and ever since then, the Wii has been my favorite console. So much fun. It’s like a TV, but better.” 

Osaki’s most common gift is cash. “I usually get a lot of money just to buy stuff,” he says. Additionally, he enjoys “the notes that [his family] gives [him],” he says.

On the other hand, some draw the short end of the stick when receiving gifts. Porter recalls an unfortunate attempt: “Nobody seems to know my style . . . I won’t name names, but it was a piece of jewelry that I would never wear,” she says.

Griggs similarly dislikes certain stylistic choices. “I hate t-shirts so much. I’m gonna be honest,” she says.

Though gifts are typical of the holiday celebration, it is questionable as to if they are a necessity to the season. Osaki does not think so. “I would say it’s not necessary to give gifts or to get gifts . . . spending time with family and eating all together is better,” he says.

Jackson recognizes the magnitude of the tradition but prioritizes the non-material. “I feel like it’s a huge aspect, but . . . it’s mainly about spending time with your family,” he says.

Although it may just be an object wrapped in ribbons and pom-poms, a Christmas gift is clearly anything but dispassionate. According to Brewer, the intent behind a gift is the most important. “It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, it’s just that someone gave it to you and thought to give something to you,” she says.

A gift is merely a way to materialize love, reinforcing the compassionate mission of the season. “I think it’s important because it just is a symbol of your love and care for the person who’s receiving it,” Porter says.