I have a few other memories that will stay with me a lifetime and they are thanks to my lovely eldest brother, who's almost 10 years my senior. Growing up, he took the art of gift giving to a whole new level. Seriously.
There was the famous year he gave me this:
When it was revealed, everyone in the room said: "Oh, a milk crate..."
He said: "No, it's not a milk crate, it's a toy box."
Shame that he found it bobbing around on the harbour's edge. There's also the fact it had printed on it's side something about being the property of Dairy Farmers, fines for anyone who kept it, blah, blah, blah.
There was the year he gave me this:
Not a bad gift I hear you say. A lovely hair dryer, practical and thoughtful. It would be if it wasn't for the fact that he found the hair dryer in a nearby park and it exploded the first time I plugged it in. An electrifying Christmas that was!
I'm not the only one to be a lucky receiver. One year, my mum received a lovely candle similar to this:
Except mum's candle was purple and it wrapped around a log. It also had fetching googly eyes. At least he actually exchanged money for this gift.
As he got older the gifts started to improve, though he still had his own unique style. While living in Melbourne as a high-flying ad exec, he come home to Sydney on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning he'd boast about how he did his gift shopping in under 3 minutes while doling out books Santa-style from a bag labelled Airport Book Shop.
His job in media also meant a whole new world of gifts – CDs and videos stamped with the words "Not for Sale. For Promotional Purposes only". There were also the promotional T-shirts from the television station he worked at.
One year, another brother decided to give him a taste of his gift-giving. He bought him a pair of size 00 stubbies shorts and wrapped them up nicely. Well, he was completely outraged! Christmas was ruined! He couldn't see the funny side at all, until he realised there was a $20 note rolled up in the tiny pocket.
Unfortunately, my brother now lives in another country and we don't see him at Christmas. I have to say I receive some lovely, thoughtful presents these days, but nothing quite as memorable...