Favorite Gift – Ever

In the spirit of the season, I thought it would be fun to have the staff take a little walk down Memory Lane and recall their best holiday gifts—ever.

“Christmas, 1987, we traveled to my parents’ house with our six-month-old baby, who awoke like clockwork each morning at five. My father offered to take care of her each morning so I could sleep in. But even better than the gift of extra zzz’s was the sight of my dad and my daughter happily snuggled together. Priceless!”
—Features Editor Nancy L. Claus
“On December 25, 1986, I got the greatest gift of all: I gave birth to my son, Shane.”
—Senior Creative Director Trish Gogarty
“My best gift was spending the holiday with my family in Krakow, Poland, Christmas 2006, my first Christmas in Poland since I left in 1984.”
—Assistant to the Art Department
Marta Kujawa
“I actually have more fun wrapping presents than opening them. My sister and I every Christmas Eve play cheesy Christmas music, pig out on sugar cookies, and challenge each other to wrap presents using exactly three pieces of tape on each present. It’s not easy. By the end, I’ve forgotten what’s in all the packages!”
—Articles Editor Marisa LaScala
“The most memorable Christmas present of my life was a bicycle that came with a letter from Santa Claus.”
—Creative Director
Aiko Masazumi
“When I was twelve, I rediscovered The Beatles. My older brother, Jeff, gave me a big box filled with an assortment of Beatles albums, books, memorabilia, and a big color poster of John. I couldn’t speak. I don’t think I came out of my room for days afterward!”
—Chief Copy Editor Carol Caffin
“I’m thrilled every time I get a new package of socks.”
Jonathan Quartuccio
“My best ‘gift’ ever was my trip to Sudan, Africa, for Christmas 1989. My father managed a group of twenty-seven Polish pilots. I, along with my mom and another pilot’s wife, made a traditional Polish Christmas party for them. We smuggled a Christmas tree and a bottle of vodka, and made three hundred dumplings—called ‘ears’—for dinner. The one for my father was the size of a dinner plate. We called it the ‘Executive Ear.’”
—Deputy Creative Director Halina Sabath

“The biggest Christmas craze of my generation was Atari, which, of course, Santa gave me. I spent all of Christmas, 1980, happily playing Space Invaders, Missile Command, and Asteroids.”
—Senior Editor Robert Schork

“For a Christmas gift one year, my then-girlfriend took me out to dinner in downtown Manhattan. After dinner, we popped into a cab to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. She paid for the entire evening—a blithe occurrence most single men are not used to.”
—Managing Editor John Turiano
“I’ll be receiving my best holiday gift later this month when my husband and I travel to South America to visit our son, who’s studying there. Of course, the trip through Chile, Brazil, and Argentina will be pretty terrific, too.”
—Features Editor Laurie Yarnell



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