by Leann Skallerud
The gift of friendship is irreplaceable, but getting chocolates, gift cards, and cute clothes is pretty great, too! Over the years, people receive many gifts from friends and family members; sometimes, these gifts turn into cherished possessions and memories. The Voice conducted a small survey at BCC to collect data on students’ favorite gifts for holidays, birthdays, or just because.
Students responded in a variety of ways. Tyler Clark was first to offer up a favorite. A friend gave her a cute dress. “It was exactly what I would wear,” she said. “Like, it had little skulls on it and was from Hot Topic.”
Angel Sunlight, a journalism major, reminisced about a gift she got when she was a child. “A pink Barbie Bungalow, when I was six,” she said. “It had a pool and Barbie could go swimming.” This sure beats the usual doll house or Barbie Glam Convertible.
Other students soon responded with smiles on their faces. Tenzin Kunsang, who is considering a business major, said the best gifts he received were “A MacBook Air from my friend and a surprise birthday party with friends and family.”
Former Berkeley High School student Benjamin Kandel said, “I’d probably say my drum set.” His response came after he asked “does it have to be deep?” and The Voice reassured him it did not.
“It was a bear hat,” said Liliana Shaw. “One of those animal ones you can put your hands in the paws and it was meant to protect me when I had bad days.” Who wouldn’t love a comfy hat on a bad day?
“My dad built me a room when I was twelve because I used to sleep on the couch. We even painted it orange and purple, my favorite colors,” Leann Skalleurd said, after Ben Kandel asked what her favorite gift was.
James Wiley thought outside of the box and said the best gift was “being alive and doing the things that I can do.” Everyone should be thankful for the lives they have, like Wiley is.
One student, Charlene Adams, a proud mother, explained that her son and daughter got her two presents that she loves dearly and uses to this day. One is a fifty-gallon fish tank that she has kept for seven years. “They also bought me a ping pong table because they knew I loved to play, especially in the summer time,” Adams said with a nostalgic gaze in her eyes.
Before Patrick Kruger moved to Berkeley, he lived in a poorer section of Minneapolis called Cedar-Riverside. The neighborhood had a tall, iconic old apartment building, painted with rectangles and faded primary colors. Kruger said outsiders thought it was hideous, but people who knew the story loved it for its history of being the first housing for waves of immigrants, and for contributing to the diversity of the city. His brother used to visit him in Cedar-Riverside, and knew what that building meant to him. Kruger was elated when his brother gave him a painting of the rugged landmark. “Our faded icon is vital and proud, filtered through a light snowfall and generations of love,” Kruger said when describing the sentimental artwork.
Another student, Pooya Berahmandi, unfortunately did not hear the full question. Berahmandi did not hear “What is the best gift you have gotten on a holiday, birthday, or any other occasion?” Instead, he heard “What is the best gift?” to which he responded “Your period. It’s a gift to be able to give birth.” The surveyor was taken aback and after much laughter and clarification, Berahmandi could not think of the greatest gift he had received.
Another student had a difficult time thinking of a particular present, so he decided to explain a small collection of coffee mugs he has. Zach Adams-Dominik had a military friend who sent across the country. His friend knew he would probably never see him again, so he gave Adams-Dominik his favorite coffee cup. “Cherishing the feelings and effects I gained such a small, personal item, I began asking my best friends for their own cups, whenever one of us were to move away. My collection has been growing steadily since, and though it’s still quite small, each piece of it represents someone close in my life,” Adams-Dominik said.
Whether it’s new clothes, small gifts from parting friends, or even the biological wonders of life, make sure to let the ones you love know how much they mean to you, and cherish what you have this holiday season.